“It’s an explosion of luuuv!” Elyse yells from the kitchen as she admires the golden challah loaves that she and her daughter Sydnee have prepared for the evening’s Shabbat.
This night will be like no other night I’ve experienced with a Jewish family. While I have been a guest for many years at my friend Maggie Klein’s family Passovers (I come armed with containers to take home matzo ball soup and charoset, and Maggie’s sister, Fran Fink, is happy to fill them up), where I addressed the late matriarch as “Mother Klein,” I have never been the guest of a Modern Orthodox African-American family. Tonight I will be one of two Gentiles, the other being Elyse’s sister, Arnette Haynes, and we’ll be joined by two other couples — six children in all, and two dogs.
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Famous Black Churches