Where in the world is the largest seder? No, it’s not Israel or Miami and not even Brooklyn.
The world’s largest seder is in Kathmandu, Nepal. Run by the Chabad of Nepal, Rabbi Chezki and Chani Lifshitz, the co-directors, have overcome some formidable challenges - including coups, border delays, strikes and even weather disasters. Nevertheless, the Passover seder has gone on year after year.
There are 3 and sometimes 4 simultaneous seders - 2 in Hebrew and the rest in English. Hundreds of Israelis - mostly 20 something backpackers who have recently finished army service are joined by a diverse mélange of Jews from around the world….some on honeymoons, homesick drifters from India and Thailand and some on a spiritual journey.
4 months before the big night, the Lifshitzes and their helpers kick off logistical challenges that include transporting into Nepal 800 pounds of matzah, 2,000 kosher wine bottles and thousands of tins of fish.
“Every seder in the world has four children,” Rabbi Lifshsitz says in reference to the passage in the Haggadah that explores four attitudes to Judaism. “In Nepal, we have seders for the fifth child: the one who’s never home for seder.”