Local Passover celebrations dampened by hate crime in Kansas

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)–Shock and grief are being felt from coast to coast after a gunman with ‘known ties’ to hate groups opened fire at a Jewish community center in Kansas on Sunday.

Among those killed was a fourteen year old boy. It all happened on the night before the start of Passover.

In New London, many people are expected to fill Congregation Ahavath Chesed for an eight-day Passover celebration.

Rabbi Avrohom Sternberg has been the spiritual leader at the New London temple for 18 years, and will lead the celebration.

“Tonight marks exactly 3,326 years since the exodus,” Sternberg said. The Jewish people were enslaved by the Egyptians.”

He says that miraculously, God took the Jews out of Egypt, freeing them. Today, Passover helps Jews break their modern day chains of bad habits and other limited abilities and mindsets to gain the freedom to move forward in their lives. It’s a message he spreads as the Director of Chabad of Eastern Connecticut.

“The true defnition of freedom is when it’s limitless,” Sternberg said.

After the shooting outside at a Jewish community center and assisted living facility in Kansas – his first reaction was shock and pain.

But he says generations of Jewish people know their response has to be positive. Passover may be the perfect opportunity to do that, sharing the holiday and the seder with perhaps one extra person.

“When we will increase in our efforts to add light into this world, automatically the darkness will disappear,” Sternberg said.

Passover began Monday and will continue through next Tuesday.

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