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Passover and Christianity:
Aspects of Current Interest
A Pesach Study Session with
Professor Michael J. Cook

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Professor Michael J. Cook, HUC-JIR Sol and Arlene Bronstein Professor of Judaeo-Christian Studies at our Cincinnati campus, will present: Passover and Christianity: Aspects of Current Interest at our first hour-long phone study session.

To learn more about Michael Cook, please click here to visit his homepage at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion.


It is beneficial for us also to be aware of certain specifically Christian facets of the Passover season. To this end, the first part of our session will be primarily academic; the second primarily practical.

Segment one will survey:

  • The essentials of Jesus' (and Judas') Last Supper
    (Maundy Thursday -- was it a Seder?)
  • Jesus' trial and the Jews' alleged role in it (Good Friday),
  • The stories of the Empty Tomb (Easter Sunday).

Segment two will lay out:

  • Practical ramifications of Christians (including Messianic Jews) appropriating Passover (and other Jewish holidays)
  • Analysis of a sample church “Seder” text, and models of actual editorial responses (concerning these “Seders”) by community Rabbis to churches and public media
  • And, last, we'll do an overview of Cincinnati's controversial pilot (not Pilate!) project: the training of Jewish laypersons to conduct church Seders statewide -- we'll run through the program's rationale, implementation, results, reviews, and potential replicability in YOUR community.

Attention will be given to how we should explain these various subjects to fellow Jews, religious school youngsters, and Christian neighbors. Needless to say, emphasis can only be on highlights, with help from handouts -- and with bibliography (for further study) -- via the internet.

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