‘Escape from Egypt’ a creative exploration of Passover

Mark Hicks

It’s a story Jews worldwide recount from heart each Passover: centuries ago, when their ancestors remained enslaved in Egypt, a wave of plagues struck the region.

Rabbi Dan Horowitz, founding director of The Well, walks past “The Red Cs” that signify the room being locked.

Each was worse than the last, and the 10th that left all first-born males dead “passed over” Jews’ homes — convincing Pharaoh to set them free.

Those pestilences unfolded over much longer than the 45 minutes a group of Metro Detroiters had Monday evening to “escape” a room in Ferndale revolving around those events.

Since last week, “Escape from Egypt” has been drawing residents to a loft apartment for an inventive exploration of Passover, the Jewish holiday starting at sundown Friday and running through April 7.

The program is presented until Wednesday by The Well, a Jewish community-building, education and spirituality outreach initiative.

The group has long sought to examine Jewish issues and themes through unique efforts, so officials started mapping a plan months ago to tackle the popular observance.

Members connected with a professional escape room game designer based in Los Angeles “to create this new, one of a kind escape room experience” centered on Passover, said Matt Weiner, The Well’s assistant director.

Attendees fill a timeslot to enter a room based on a Passover Seder — a ceremonial meal that traditionally launches the Jewish holiday — then solve puzzles to find missing items and eventually unlock what bars them from leaving, Weiner said.

Nearly 200 people have participated since the launch last week, said Rabbi Dan Horwitz, the Well’s founding director.

“For people across multiple generations, it’s a fun way to engage and do something that’s different,” Weiner said.

Escape from Egypt

When: Through Wednesday, timeslots are hourly from 6-10pm

Where: 22620 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale

Cost: Sessions are $100 for a group of up to 8 people

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/escape-from-egypt-tickets-43560721290