The photo is of feminist and Lesbian Rabbi, Sheila Shulman, who died recently.
In the 2007 photo contributed by BKY, Rabbi Sheila Shulman is conducting the Passover
Seder service with an “exotic” orange clearly visible on the Seder plate.
In the Jewish world today there are many Jews who consider themselves
‘treif’, somehow ‘unkosher’– either because they have ruled themselves
out of communal life or because someone else has told them that they do
not belong. They feel that they have as much business being in a shul as
bread has on a Seder plate.
Some years ago, a group of students at Oberlin College wished to make a
statement about Jewish inclusiveness. They thought about putting bread
on the Seder plate but it just didn’t feel right. Somehow either they,
or a Jewish feminist called Susannah Heschel, had the idea of using an
orange to symbolise inclusivity: it was made up of many segments, but it
formed a whole. We add it to our Seder plate this evening as a statement
that no one should be excluded from the life of our Jewish community.
by Rabbi Janet Burden, 2015