Faces of Federation

Red Sea Reflection with Collective Escape 2019

Powered by NuRoots, the Federation’s innovative grassroots initiative engaging young adults, Collective Escape 2019  is our fourth annual citywide celebration of Passover. From April 19 to April 26, NuRoots co-creators and fellows put together a diverse variety of offerings aimed to celebrate the holiday in a way that’s accessible, unique, and relevant. The hope is that young adults walk away from these gatherings feeling a genuine connection with the Passover story. NuRoots community member Sharon Peykar opened up about her Collective Escape experience Red Sea Reflection an experiential deep-dive of the themes of the Dayenu blessing and the ancient Iranian tradition tied to it.

What defines Jewish culture or tradition for you?
Spending time with family on Shabbat and Jewish holidays is deeply important to me. I grew up surrounded by friends and family members who embodied the Jewish values that helped shape my identity. For me, Jewish culture is defined by acceptance, community and family.

What’s your favorite place in L.A., and why?
I am grateful for all of Los Angeles — but if I had to choose, I love meditating on the beach in Malibu!

A piece of advice you would give 13-year-old you?
Looking back, I would say, “Take your time. The Universe has your back.”

A past trend that you wish would come back?
Butterfly hair clips! And anything with glitter.

Finish this sentence: The world could use a little more __________ 

What Passover tradition/ritual would you still like to be doing 10 years from now? Why is it meaningful to you?
I value the symbolism associated with the foods we eat and the deeper meaning behind the holiday itself. Ten years from now, I hope to host large seders, and share my grandmother’s Charoset recipe with my children.

How did you get involved with NuRoots?
I attended a Jewish Meditation led by NuRoots in 2017.

What inspired you to co-create an experience for Collective Escape?
I felt inspired by the opportunity to re-imagine a Jewish tradition in a way that feels more relevant to the challenges we face as young adults in 2019. My co-creator, Donna Maher, and I are so excited to share a unique experience that brings people together in a powerful way without diminishing the importance of the Seder itself.

Why is your Collective Escape experience different from ways you have previously celebrated Passover? 
Our Seder highlights the universal experiences of hardship and uncertainty while celebrating our shared resiliency and commitment to gratitude.

What’s one thing you know now about the Jewish community that you wish you knew sooner?
As a psychotherapist, I feel deeply compassionate towards individuals and families who have been affected by mental illness, especially addiction. The holidays can be a challenging time for individuals who have experienced the isolation and insanity of living with addiction. I know now, having worked in the mental health field for 6 years, that there is so much support in the Jewish community for those who are struggling.

What is your favorite Kosher for Passover meal? (if you have any)
Matzoh pizza!


To learn more about NuRoots, visit www.yaJewishLA.org/nuroots. To learn more about Collective Escape, visit www.nuroots.org/collectiveescape2019.