BYU-Idaho hosted a Passover dinner on Thursday in the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center.

David Peck, BYU-I’s Dean of the College of Education and Human Development and religion professor said BYU-I faculty gathered together to find a way to embrace the Easter season.

BYU-I's Food Services prepares buffet

BYU-I's Food Services prepared the buffet. Photo credit: Mattie Johnson

“We were in a meeting with a lot of campus leadership when we received the invitation a couple of weeks ago to find creative ways to elevate Easter,” Peck said.

The event was a product of group effort and collaboration among the Auxiliary Services, Food Services and the Department of Religious Education.

“We huddled up quickly,” Peck said. “What would this look like, how do we do it? How big do we want to go? Auxiliary services thought we could go pretty big and they put out the number of 500.”

Curtis Castillow, a religious education professor and conductor of the Passover meal, said the event sold all 500 tickets within 12 hours.

Students partake in event's buffet

Students partake in event's buffet. Photo credit: Mattie Johnson

“They had it sold out in 12 hours,” Castillow said. “Word hardly got out, but everybody just jumped on.”

Castillow had two weeks to prepare the night’s event Passover meal, known as the Seder.

“I had to read the Haggadah, that is the instructions on how to do a Seder meal, how to do a Passover meal,” Castillow said. “The Jews all have a Haggadah. I had three of them and I had to read through them.”

Peck said he loved seeing so many people gather to remember the important events of the Passover and the Easter season.

Lamb Meatballs and Grape Juice for Seder Meal

Lamb meatballs and grape juice for Seder meal. Photo credit: Mattie Johnson

“Just singing together, reading these special passages together watching the excitement from the students, seeing 500 people all gathered for this simple reason to just celebrating and remembering these important events is just a real good, real good feeling,” Peck said. “There was a good spirit there tonight.”

Castillow said one of his favorite parts of leading the Seder meal was being able to play his guitar and sing “Dayenu” and making connections with the Savior.

Castillow plays guitar and sings Dayenu with audience.

Castillow plays guitar and sings Dayenu with audience. Photo credit: Mattie Johnson

“When I make the connections from the Savior to that ancient memorial… that is probably my favorite,” Castillow said.

Castillow and the groups who organized the event hope to host another Passover meal event next year with more nights available to students.