KIHEI - After a small-scale test run earlier this year, the Jewish Congregation of Maui celebrated Passover earlier this month with a meal prepared in what, so far as they know, is the first kosher imu.
The Sunia family of Kahului helped Rabbi David Glickman and members of the synagogue to dig an imu, line it with stones and cook a meal for more than 250 people.
The imu (or umu in Tongan) cooked beef, lamb, poultry and sweet potatoes for the meal that marked the first two nights of the eight-day Passover remembrance.
DAVID WEISFELD photo
Kepueli Sunia (from left), Folingi Talamai and Rabbi David Glickman remove Passover fare from what’s believed to be the first kosher imu this month at the Jewish Congregation of Maui synagogue in Kihei.
It was an international as well as intercultural event, with kosher food coming from as far away as Uruguay, the East Coast and Canada.
Glickman said that the congregation plans to incorporate the imu into other large celebrations.
"We are in Hawaii, and this is a unique and natural way to prepare the cooked foods for our feasts," he said. "I am very excited and happy to incorporate local traditions into our observances in this way."