Taking part in Passover on the Strand

Several area Jewish leaders are seeing their congregations' memberships grow, and more Jewish people are attending Passover Seders held throughout the Grand Strand, local leaders said.

Temples throughout the area, including Conway's Temple Shalom and Georgetown's Temple Beth Elohim, hosted Seders on Monday. Temple Beth Elohim expected about 100 people to attend this year's Seder - a meal held on the first two nights of Passover - up from 92 people last year and about 50 to 60 people three years ago, said president Gene Vinik.

Vinik said most expected to attend the Seder are not members of his congregation, but people who wanted to participate, who he hopes will become members.

Passover is a time when Jews around the world thank God for commanding death to pass over their ancestors' homes, freeing them from bondage, then safely leading them out of Egypt.

Preparation of the Seder meal for the Jewish holiday requires buying kosher items, including matzo - unleavened bread - gefilte fish and kosher wine or grape juice.