20 November 2019 - 22 Heshvan 5780 - כ"ב חשון ה' אלפים תש"פ
Did Thailand top Nepal as site of world’s biggest Passover Seder this year? E-mail

The festival of Pesach has finished, but which community in Asia eventually held the largest Seder gathering? Jewish Times Asia is in the process of getting the nittygritty of the final numbers.

Nepal’s world-famous Passover Seder, held annually high in the Himalayas in the capital city of Kathmandu, reaching a peak of some 2,000 guests last year on its 30th anniversary, stands as a perpetual icon of Chabad-Lubavitch’s “no mountain too tall to climb” approach to Jewish education and outreach.

Well, a few countries to the southeast and a sea away in Thailand on the island of Koh Samui, the annual mega-affair in Kathmandu, commonly dubbed “The World’s Largest Seder”, now has company – lots of company.

This year, Koh Samui was threatening to outstrip Kathmandu’s numbers by as many as 1,000 guests. “Yes, in fact we are looking forward with much excitement to yet another great experience with even more people this year,” said Rabbi Mendel Goldshmid, who codirects the Koh Samui ChabadLubavitch organisation and its Seders with his wife, Sara.

Goldshmid added: “We are planning new features this year such as a separate Seder in English in addition to our usual large Seder in Hebrew, as the majority of our guests come from Israel. The whole affair is the high point of our year.”

Last year, one of his three Seders – three of 14 total held in the tropical Southeast Asian nation – was already in the 2,500-guest range.

Still, in the end, we all agree that it’s not really the numbers that matter. Chabad’s Asian Seder sprawl – from Nepal to Thailand to Cambodia to China – and elsewhere in the world is being produced by one big happy family with a common vision.

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