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Miss. seder combines Jewish and black traditions

JACKSON, Miss. — A seder inspired by the legacy of a professor who once built bridges between the African-American and Jewish communities of Mississippi will be held at historically black Tougaloo College on Thursday.

Ernst Borinski taught at Tougaloo from 1947 until his death in 1983 and was active in the civil rights movement. Borinski, a refugee who fled Germany during the Holocaust, is featured in an exhibit, "From Swastika to Jim Crow," currently on display at the college.

The seder traditionally tells the story of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt. The seder at Tougaloo will emphasize common themes in the histories of both communities and feature southern African-American cuisine prepared according to kosher rules. Culinary historian Jessica B. Harris will present a lecture before the festive meal.