City Winery has announced the 31st annual Downtown Seder. The event is set to take place on Wednesday, April 17. Hosted by City Winery founder Michael Dorf, it brings together 20 musicians, comedians and activists, including singer Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, Curb Your Enthusiasm actor Richard Kind and comedian Judy Gold and others. 

The annual event will take place five days before the actual Passover holiday. Speakers will discuss the historical story through a modern lens that resonates with today’s local and international issues. Slated as topics are the ongoing Israel/Palestine conflict, speakers are asked to diffuse tensions through speeches, comedy, or musical relief. 

Reminding guests of the liberation from conflict and struggles that Passover celebrates, activist Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr., who marched with Martin Luther King Jr., will provide context to the story of Egyptian slavery, while George Floyd’s brother, Terrance Floyd, will further the themes of liberation through his own supplementary speech. Additional words will be offered by human rights activist Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie and Rabbi Tamar Manasseh, one of the leading black female rabbis in the U.S. who founded Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings (MASK) in a crusade against gun violence.

“Our interpretation of this timeless story is to tell it in the language of the arts, in ways that we can relate and truly empathize with what it would be like to be in bondage, to be emancipated, and the universal civil rights we need to continually remind ourselves,” Dorf explains. “City Winery’s Seder takes these ancient symbols of life and hope and transcends the normal script using art, music, humor to bring back some joy while inspiring and feeding our soul.”

Other notable names joining the feast include comedians Alex Edelman and Jared Freed, gospel singer Nicki Richards, Israeli singer David Broza, NYC Comptroller Brad Lander and return attendees, artist Laurie Anderson and composer and trumpeter Steven Bernstein. City Winery’s Downtown Seder started in 1993 at the Knitting Factory, also founded by Michael Dorf. The event was temporarily held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage before moving to City Winery in 2008. 

Tickets are on sale now. A livestream of the event will also be available at