The area's Jewish community is preparing for Passover, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt.
This year, Passover begins at sundown April 14.
In the central San Joaquin Valley, Passover is observed with traditional events, especially Seder dinners with food symbolizing the ancient Hebrews' experience.
Some events are:
An Interfaith Community Seder at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, at Temple Beth Israel, 6622 N. Maroa Ave. Rabbi Rick Winer of Temple Beth Israel will lead the Seder. Cost is $65.
Details: email@example.com or call, 432-3600.
A First-Night Seder on April 14 at Congregation Beit Shalom, 115 E. Paseo Ave., Visalia. The telling begins at 6:30 p.m. with rituals, music and Seder songs. The dinner menu is roasted chicken, matzah ball soup, fresh greens, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables, macaroons, strawberries and almond cake. Cost is $18.
Details: (559) 308-1333.
A First-Night Community Passover Seder at 6 p.m. April 14 at Temple Beth Israel, 6622 N. Maroa Ave. The event is presented by the synagogue's Sisterhood organization.
The reservation deadline has passed.
A Second-Night Seder at 6 p.m. April 15 at Congregation Beth Jacob, 406 W. Shields Ave. Reservations are needed.
Details: (559) 673-2037 or 974-4211.
A First-Night Seder is at 7:15 p.m. April 14 and a Second-Night Seder is at 8:15 p.m. April 15 at Chabad of Fresno, 1227 E. Shepherd Ave. Reservations are needed.
Details: firstname.lastname@example.org or call, (559) 432-2770.
Church will dedicate organ bought on eBay
A four-manual Allen digital organ — bought on eBay — will be dedicated at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Fresno Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2980 E. Yale Ave.
The search for a new church organ was initiated by Thomas Melton, a student, and Ed Wagner, an Adventist Academy musician. After the organ was bought on eBay, the church also remodeled to create chambers for the new organ.
The dedication event will honor Helen Springle, music director emeritus.
Kimo Smith, organist at Loma Linda University Church of Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, will perform at the dedication.
Admission is free.
Details: (559) 233-1171.
Church names new buildings after popes
New classroom buildings at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Hanford will be dedicated Saturday, April 5, one building named for Pope John XXIII and the other for Pope John Paul II.
The dedication comes in a month when Pope Francis will declare both popes as saints on April 27.
In Hanford, Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno will bless the classroom buildings, which are part of the new Faith Formation Center. Also, the Hanford parish celebrates the Sacrament of Confirmation with Ochoa today.
Throughout April, large portraits of John XXIII and John Paul II are on display in front of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, which is at 10435 Hanford Armona Road.
Details: (559) 584-8576.
Bethesda expands with second venue
Bethesda Apostolic Church in Fresno is expanding with a second venue — Bethesda Southeast — at 407 S. Clovis Ave.
The new venue has its grand opening at 9:45 a.m. Sunday, April 6. Bethesda Southeast promotes itself as "new, radical and passionate about Christ" with "power services." The venue also will present services at 7 p.m. Tuesdays.
Bethesda Apostolic Church, which is at 3723 E. Dakota Ave., will continue to offer services at 8 and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays as well as noon and 7 p.m. Wednesdays. The senior pastor is the Rev. Tobaise Brookins.
Details: (559) 225-1673.
Expansion of Catholic cemetery begins
St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery has begun a first-phase expansion project that will add 7 acres of new burial sections at 264 N. Blythe Ave.
The cemetery is part of Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Fresno.
Six new burial sections will be for traditional ground burial plots. The other has the option for the placement of upright headstones.
The expansion also will add new columbarium features for the placement of ashes, a second main entrance with wrought-iron fencing along the frontage of the cemetery, three new roads and privacy fencing to encompass the perimeters.
The first phase is expected to be completed in two to three months.
Details: (559) 488-7449.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304, email@example.com or @ronorozco_bee on Twitter.