Jewish and Japanese Seniors Observe Passover in Los Angeles

The Jewish Passover Seder commemorates the exodus of the ancient Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. The dinner has been observed for centuries among the Jewish generations and became part of life of Jews living in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.

That community relocated to Reseda, in the San Fernando Valley, but Jewish seniors returned on April 2 to the original Boyle Heights home - now Keiro Senior Healthcare - to share the Passover offerings with elder Japanese-Americans.

The affair was cross-cultural. Jewish participants offered the traditional matzo, boiled egg and bitter herbs - symbols of the exodus. The Japanese contingent offered Teriyaki chicken in place of brisket.

Both people bore great sacrifices during World War II - the Jews during the Nazi-led Holocaust, the Japanese-American citizens in forced internment camps.

"If it wasn't for the generosity of the Jewish Home, we would not be here today to celebrate this Passover meal," Shawn Miyake, president and CEO of Keiro Senior Healthcare, was quoted by DailyNews Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Jewish Home serves senior housing residents, 2,600 mostly Jewish seniors, offering services from independent living to hospice care, in the San Fernando Valley.

Jewish Home board member Annette Shapiro told DailyNews Los Angeles: "I feel very moved ... to celebrate this occasion of Passover This is really a warm, kind and wonderful experience."

Seders are observed in Jewish Assisted Living and Continuing Care retirement residences.