Aspen’s Jewish community joins for Seder at Aspen Chapel |

Aspen’s Jewish community joins for Seder at Aspen Chapel

Passover Seder 2023
The local community celebrated Seder with a traditional coursed meal to accompany the service at the Aspen Chapel.
Julie Bielenberg/The Aspen Times


The Jewish Community across the world celebrated the first night of Passover on Wednesday evening.

In Aspen, over 100 people joined the Aspen Jewish Congregation for Seder at the Aspen Chapel. 

“As a resort-based congregation the Aspen Jewish Congregation welcomes both members and visitors to the congregation each year during for Passover. Often, it will occur during spring break, and we will have to find a bigger space to accommodate the visitors,” said Jason Schnissel, Executive Director.

Mandy Fahey, and her two daughters, Taylor and Dylan, enjoying first night Passover Seder with Aspen Jewish Congregation/ Julie Bielenberg, Aspen Times
Julie Bielenberg/ The Aspen Times

“They might even account for half of the Seder some years; however, this year, as the dates fell, it was an amazing local crowd. We welcome the opportunity to commemorate Passover and the exodus from Egypt with Jews from throughout the country,” added Schnissel.

He commented, this is the first Passover I ever remember with blowing snow outside. This a strong juxtaposition from the desert exodus. 

Executive Director Jason Schnissel of Aspen Jewish Congregation at Seder 2023. Julie Bielenberg / Aspen Times.
Julie Bielenberg/The Aspen Times

The local up and down valley community celebrated with a traditional coursed meal to accompany the service, by European Catering. 

Education and Community Engagement Director of Aspen Jewish Congregation, Sima Oster, led the service amongst family, friends, community and visitors.

One of the handful of annual, local, Bar Mitzvah students attended the annual Seder with his family. “It’s really nice they put this on each year for our community. And, my mom doesn’t have to cook two nights in a row for the holiday,” said Miles Molnar.

Miles Molnar of the Aspen Jewish Congregation with his Passover matzah ball soup. Julie Bielenberg / Aspen Times
Julie Bielenberg/The Aspen Times

He was referring to the often complicated, six-course meal. 

“I’m excited to be in this space, as my Bar Mitzvah, which I have been practicing—it seems like a decade—is ten days away. It feels so good to be with my community right before my big day.” 

What’s Next?

“Our ‘down valley’ community is hosting a seder in Carbondale. While it’s traditional to conduct a Seder the first two nights of the holiday, the community wanted to make sure everyone could participate,” said Schnissel. The event, which is already completely booked for participants, with a waiting list, will celebrate the Passover tradition with local first responders. 

The week after Passover, Aspen Jewish Congregation will be hosting a mountain minyan shabbat on April 14 at Aspen Chapel. 

“We will explore the period of reflection that takes place between Passover and Shavout. It will be led by Rabbi Stutman, who is currently visiting the Synagogue on a monthly basis but will be with us full time from mid -June through the High Holidays,” said Schnissel.

Based in Washington DC, Rabbi Stutman will also be speaking at Aspen Ideas this summer. 

Clarks on April 5, 2023, low on Passover inventory / Julie Bielenberg / Aspen Times

Due to high demand, matzah and other Passover specialty items are often-times sold out at both local Aspen supermarkets – – Clarks and City Market. 

Mandy Fahey, and her two daughters, Taylor and Dylan, enjoying first night Passover Seder with Aspen Jewish Congregation. Visiting from New Jersey, they were relieved to have a place to celebrate on vacation. 


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