This seder plate was designed by jUChicago interns, and will be given as a keepsake to any student who signs up to host a Passover seder in their apartment or dorm.
The Reg: Not only does the life of the university revolve around the Reg and all it symbolizes, but the Reg also stands as a symbol of both hard work and liberation of the mind.
Vegetable: The vegetable on the seder plate references a 1st and 2nd century tradition of starting a meal by dipping a vegetable in salt water. The vegetable is reimagined on the UChicago seder plate as the ivy that grows beautifully on the side of many academic buildings.
Egg: The egg on the seder plate symbolizing mourning over the destruction of the Temple (eggs being food traditionally served to mourners). The egg also has ancient connotations with spring, fertility, birth and rebirth. We have reimagined it here as a phoenix rising from the ashes, the ultimate symbol of rebirth...and of UChicago.
Charoset: This sweet brown mixture is meant to recall the mortar used by Hebrew slaves to build structures for Pharoah in Egypt. Here we see this symbol not as mortar used to build edifices, but as the books UChicago students read to build the life of the mind.
Bitter Herbs on the seder plate symbolize the bitterness and harshness of slavery. The obvious corollary to bitter herbs at UChicago is coffee, which is consumed in great quantities by students as fuel for getting their work done.
The Shankbone reminds us the Passover sacrifice offered at the Temple, but also recalls the tenth plague in Egypt. The Hebrews marked their doorposts so that death would pass over them. Here, we have reimagined this passing over as a more literal passing of classes.
Bitter Vegetable: This symbol also represents the bitterness of slavery, and many people in America use romaine lettuce for this symbol. Here we have re-imagined it as a lilypad floating on Botany Pond.