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Mar 9, 2003 09:20 AM

Passover Seder in Paris?

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My partner and I will be in Paris this year for the first 2 nights of Passover. We're looking for a seder to attend. Perhaps something sponsored by a synagogue that includes visitors from abroad/expatriates. Please help! Thanks.

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  1. yes, there is a french-american (liberal) congregation -- kehilat gescher -- that has a community seder. I believe it's only for the 2nd night, however. The rabbi is an American and the service is half in French half in English. I think you can reach them at -- I'd give them a call, as you need reservations to attend.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jasmine

      Thanks so much for the info. I'll give them a call.

      1. re: jasmine

        Thanks for your help. Do you know the Rabbi's name? Not essential but it would make the initial conversation easier. Also, you say its reform; is the entire Seder in English or are there parts that are in Hebrew? Any recollection?

        1. re: bposner

          Rabbi Tom Cohen describes the seder as being in Hebrew, French, and English. You have to fill out an application form. I think the charge is around 30 Euros though I'm not sure. You can email them using

          contact [at sign} then the full name kehilat gescher as one word, followed by .org

          I haven't attended but had looked into it for this year. It seemed a bit large and impersonal (application form???) for me but could still be interesting, as another commenter stated.

          Slightly off topic, but still related to food and Passover: Have you heard about the gefilte fish crisis in Israel? (This is no joke, assuming one can trust NPR when it is not April 1.) The Israeli government just put a 120% tax on imported fish. The main supplier of frozen carp for gefilte fish is an Illinois company. They have tens of thousands of pounds of fish tied up and currently undeliverable. Sec'y of State H Clinton has even gotten involved, since it involves lots of jobs in the US.

          1. re: RandyB

            I am sure the application form is security related. The French Jewish communities don't mess around, trust me...

            1. re: spacesasha

              It is. Nothing to do with being impersonal.

      2. Hey Andrew. My partner and I are also in Paris for Passover. We have attended the kehilat gescher seder once before. It is a very interesting experience with Jews attending from all over the globe. We met others from Israel, Uruguay, the US and locals. We are going back this year. However, we are also looking for a place for the first night. We are traveling from New York City and will be in Paris for a week following the holiday. We are staying in the 6th. If we hear of any first night options, I'll forward

        12 Replies
        1. re: gymcrazy

          My wife and I (NYer's - ages late 30's/ 40's) will be in Paris for the 1st two seders and are looking for somewhere to go for at least the first night and likely the second as well. The Kehilat Gesher seder sounds like an interesting place to spend the holiday.

          We will be in the 1st arr. I would be willing to share any information I gather and would appreciate you and your partner doing the same. Chabad will certainly be an option and they are always embracing, interesting and global in their community

          1. re: bposner

            dear bposner, this sounds crazy, i know, but i just moved to paris from new york, was also wondering what to do for seder 1st night, and was thinking of making one myself and inviting some new friends here. as a new yorker myself i can't even believe i'm writing this, but in the spirit of jews abroad, would you like to have an adventurous seder at my place?

            1. re: scr

              This sounds lovely, and I'm not even Jewish.

              1. re: scr

                I agree, mangeur. I'm not Jewish either but very close friends are (including in Paris) so I've had the seder with them. scr, that is lovely. There are many sources for Askenazi and Sephardic Passover-friendly foods in Paris.

                Since I'm French-speaking I'll keep my eye open for other solutions.

                1. re: lagatta

                  More markets (like Monoprix) than not in and around the 3rd, 4th, an 11th carry matzos of some sort. Matzo meal is not hard to fine in Paris either. The terminology "pain d'azyme" seems to be used for matzos. Seder in Paris is made excellent by the possibility for some seriously good poultry for the main course on offer....

                2. re: scr

                  SCR, don't know how many stray Jews you've already attracted, but my 1st night seder plan seems to have just fallen through. You can write me at shiraschnitzer at if you haven't (very understandably) had your fill of total strangers. Thanks!

                  1. re: scr

                    Are people really putting on a seder on the first night? I haven't been able to find one because everyone is booked.

                    1. re: scr

                      Hello everyone..i have just realized that tomorow it's pesach and as I have recently moved to Paris and I haven't had the chance to meet any jewish yet..well I was wondering if you are still organizing the seder(you had a very good idea) ..or if everyone could reccomend me a place where to go!
                      I can be contacted at
                      Thank you very much for any help:-)

                      1. re: scr

                        i was living in new york and just moved here a month ago too...i don't know what to do for passover, but I live in the marais so i was going to try to go to a synagogue there maybe. can you let me know if you hear of anything interesting? thanks and hag sameach!

                        1. re: melissa11

                          Don't know your level of observance, but I've been agnostic, atheist, orthodox and conservative (with a little reform thrown in) and while it make me sound like a nut, I'm really not. Nonetheless, my favorite Passover was in Paris; there's a great international Seder at a Shul that is wonderful. Unfortunately, its been too many years since I was last on line on the topic and its been deleted. However, this link should help you. Read through it. The Seder my wife and I went to on our honeymoon was international, integrated, diverse and interesting. A life memory despite not being able to remember the name of it (my bad). Here's the link with all the options:


                    2. re: gymcrazy


                      We will be visiting Paris that week also and are looking for a 1st night Sedar. Maybe if we get together I can cook. I can bring my Hagadot. My husband, my daughter and my grand daughter.

                      Marilyn Gropper
                      Goodyear AZ

                      1. re: marilyngropper

                        You do realise you are replying to a post that is 6 years old...? Gymcrazy has probably been and gone.

                    3. If you need food resources I can probably tell you everything you need to know. Essentially the best place for Passover shopping is la villette. There are tons of kosher foods shops and you can literally get everything under the sun for passover. Plus going there the Sunday before Passover is a really culture experience. For the most authentic results go around 6am, trust me. For the less exotic the carrefour at porte maillot has a special passover section which is excellent.

                      Now onto to first night seders you have a bunch of options if you don't take scr up on his very kind offer. However before I go into the choices I need to know what you want, liberal or traditional, ashkenazi or north african, etc... However if you want easy you can go to les Ailes the food is good and they serve both Ashkenazi and North African specialities. The seder must be booked and paid for in advance.

                      Good luck, if you were in Lyon I could probably have gotten you all invites to my mother-in-law ;)

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: spacesasha

                        spacesasha, do you mean La Villette the neighbourhood (in the 19th near parc de la Villette and métro de la Villette - indeed there are several supermarkets and shops around there and throughout the 19th with kosher sections) - any specific names of shops?

                        A la belle-mére lyonnaise: Bon Pessah, madame!

                        1. re: lagatta

                          Yes sorry for being unclear. La Viellette Neighborhood, metro Coretin Cariou, the main drag is Avenue de Flandre which has a ton of shops. The main family is Emsallem the shops are broken up by meat, poultry, charcuterie, fish, etc. However there is a smaller butcher I prefer called on a side street called Boucherie de l'arganne which is really top, ask and people will direct you. A bunch of special passover bakeries set up business too, but honestly walk around and you will find everything under the sun for Passover!

                          1. re: spacesasha

                            hi spacesasha, thanks for this post, it was extraordinarily helpful! next year i'm taking you up on lyon... -scr

                            1. re: scr

                              Glad I could be of help. Hopefully next year we will be in Marrakech, I will send you the details ;)

                              1. re: spacesasha

                                A seder in Marrakesh, hummm. If you have any advance tips please post them on because we're going down in the fall and aside from Alexander Lobrano, and the guidebooks, have little insider info.

                                John Talbotts Paris

                                1. re: John Talbott

                                  I posted a few things, I hope it is helpful. Unfortunately in Morocco the best food is served in people's homes not in the touristy places.

                      2. I've just found this thread thanks to ChefJune, who replied to my post today...I'll be in Paris for the last seder and would love ideas if you know of any place where we (a couple from NYC and New Jersey) could go. I'm reform, he's a Jew by association, so we're not looking for a Chabad experience--something reform would be great! Thanks in advance for any ideas.

                        18 Replies
                        1. re: Curlz

                          My husband and I are looking for the same thing! I emailed Kehilat Gescher and still haven't heard back....

                          1. re: chicagofoodie84

                            I have to say that my requests to a few different organizations all garnered responses...but with no luck for a last Seder. The rabbi from Mouvement Juif Libéral de France
                            did tell me the following: The two seders that are celebrated by our community fall on the first and second night of Passover. Unfortunately, we do not celebrate a "last seder" on the last day of Passover. I am aware that there are "third seders" taking place during the week of Hol ha Moed Passover for ecumenical programs or inter-group relations events.
                            I am not sure whether any Kosher restaurant would be open Friday night the 13th.
                            Please note that Moroccan Jews and other Sephardi Jews celebrate the end of Passover (Saturday night the 14th)with a very special feast called the meimouna. You might be able to contact a Loubavitch community in Paris to find more about that.

                            While I loooooooove the idea of a Sephardic Seder, I really don't want to go to one that's orthodox. If I find out more, I'll post here.

                            1. re: Curlz

                              Oh I misread your post; I thought you meant the second seder, that is what we are looking for. Would you mind giving me more info on who you got in touch with? Thanks.

                              1. re: chicagofoodie84

                                I went on the World Union for Progressive Judaism site ( list congregations all around the world! Just sent emails to all those that were listed, and got kind replies from all. You'll probably have better luck looking for a 2nd Seder than I did for a last night one...those are pretty rare to begin with!

                                I hate to say it, but I think Kehilat Gescher 's website says that due to restricted funds, their community Seder is for members only this year, but have at Google before you rule it out.

                                1. re: Curlz

                                  I found out that Kehilat Gescher is doing a community seder still, but on the THIRD night - Sunday night. They are doing with CJL - the liberal jewish community organization. I still haven't figured out exactly how to reserve a place - this is the number I got, I guess you can't do it over email - 01 55 28 83 84

                                  1. re: chicagofoodie84

                                    hello- from Chicago and living in Paris,

                                    I am may be "doing" a seder and would be happy to welcome you -- but it certainly will be most casual and abridged---how can I contact you?

                                    1. re: chicagoparis

                                      That is SO nice of you....but we actually already ended up committed to going elsewhere, friends of friends invited us...thank you though and happy passover!

                                      1. re: chicagoparis

                                        Bonjour all - I am also an American - lefty, liberal, like to laugh - from Oregon living in France (Angers) where I'm teaching at the University. Will be in Paris during Pesach and would love to find a seder to go to. Any leads most welcome and appreciated.

                                        1. re: chicagoparis

                                          are you having an abridged seder in a public place? i would be most interested! thanks, hag sameach

                                          1. re: melissa11

                                            Melissa - I found a potluck seder from that synagogue Saturday night at 7. Sound like wonderful people. Person to contact is Pascal Tursan <>. I will also be going and won't know anyone.

                                            1. re: aroundtheworldfood

                                              which synagogue would that be? the reformed one? i will contact pascal, thank you!!!

                                              1. re: melissa11

                                                Yes the reformed one. You can tell him you got the info from Barbara. Very welcoming. See you there.

                                              2. re: aroundtheworldfood

                                                chicagoparis, that sounds wonderful, i am getting nostalgic just thinking about those smells!

                                                1. re: melissa11

                                                  what brings you to Paris? I am often in the marais and will actually be there today to buy more horseradish---- we could rdv

                                                  1. re: chicagoparis

                                                    i lived in Milan for years, and now Paris, for work in the fashion business. i will be shopping for food near me today email is mauritah at

                                                    1. re: melissa11

                                                      i'm living in the loire valley for six months teaching at a university in angers. in paris only for the week. am running around today but will be likely in the marais next week a lot. my plan is to walk, walk, walk. if you want to connect.

                                              3. re: melissa11

                                                no seder.... but I will be making chopped liver and gefilte fish tomorrow. because the house has to smell that way at least once a year.... how do people get in touch without posting their info on the public board?