Sunday, May 9th 2021   |


Sober seders: Passover without wine?


NEW YORK (JTA) — It’s rare that an Orthodox rabbi chooses to omit an important Jewish ritual in his holiday celebrations. But in the spring of 2000, Rabbi Yosef Lipsker cleared his living room of furniture, set up three large dining tables and invited dozens of people to a special seder that included all the standard Passover observances — except for one.

“When it comes to seders, everybody...

Russian Jewish group using online marketing to deliver free matzah

(JTA) — The Russian Jewish Congress and one of the country’s leading Internet companies are partnering to deliver free matzah to Moscow’s Jews.

The collaboration with the online marketing giant will allow the Jewish organization to send 2 million emails on Thursday offering the matzah for the cost of delivery — an offer RJC hopes will help introduce the Passover staple to the homes of young professionals who otherwise...

In new children’s books, it’s rhyme time about matzah and the seder


BOSTON (JTA) — Years ago, Nancy Steiner set out to make her family seder a bit more entertaining for her own young kids. She wrote a poem that became very popular among family and friends.

“On This Night: The Steps of the Seder in Rhyme,” Steiner’s first published children’s book, is an updated version of that poem with large format, brightly colored illustrations by Wendy Edelson that...

New Haggadahs: Edgar Bronfman’s and a new interactive one for kids


BOSTON (JTA) — Francine Hermelin Levite and Edgar Bronfman have been using unique versions of the Passover Haggadah for years. Now both have decided to publish their versions of the Exodus story.

Hermelin Levite, 43, the mother of three school-aged children, is the author of “My Haggadah: Made it Myself,” (, an interactive version for children of the ritual-laden book that is now available on Amazon.


In experiencing real freedom, the importance of boundaries


NEW YORK (JTA) — We have a love-hate relationship with boundaries. We hate being confined or told what to do. Many adults don’t like having a boss, and many schoolchildren get annoyed when the answer is “no.” Boundaries limit our individuality, intrude upon what we want to do and sometimes feel like an arbitrary obstacle to getting what we want.

For children, limits of time (bedtime), sources...

On kibbutz, secular seder strays from tradition


(JTA) – The families surround long tables covered by white tablecloths. Festive decorations line the walls, and the kitchen is free of chometz, the leavened foods forbidden on Passover. Seder plates sit in front of hungry participants.

But instead of someone reading the Haggadah or reciting the kiddush over wine, the crowd sings a modern Israeli kids’ song about Passover: “Great joy! Great joy! Spring has arrived,...

Quinoa, ‘mother of all grains’ may (or may not) be kosher for Passover


NEW YORK (JTA) — On any given day, a wind might blow through the farmlands of South America, pick up an errant grain of barley and deposit it nearby among the vast rows of cultivated quinoa. If that barley manages to make its way into a sifted batch of quinoa, and avoid detection during repackaging, it could wind up gracing your seder table on Passover night.


London poultry shortage looms at Passover nears

(JTA) — London is experiencing a kosher poultry shortage as Passover approaches, as slaughtered kosher chickens have been declared unkosher in recent weeks.

The shortages are due to kashrut supervisors “finding up to 80 percent treifoth” — Hebrew for non-kosher meat — “despite the fact that the poultry was purchased from farms with good quality chickens. We are endeavoring B’ezras Hashem to find a speedy solution,” said a March 7...

PASSOVER ESSAY: Get a taste of freedom


To all those who lived to see America, In fond memory of all those who didn’t.

The train was sliding forward, softly and noiselessly. A train is one of those few places where you are mostly left alone, to sleep or meditate or lazily watch the changing stations and faces outside. You are usually too sleepy in the morning or too tired after work to interact, and...

Empire halts production for a day leading to fears of kosher chicken shortage

(JTA) — Empire Kosher shut down production of kosher chickens for one day, leading to fears of a shortage for Passover.

The plant in Mifflintown, Pa., was scheduled to resume production on Monday after closing down on Feb. 28, Haaretz reported. Empire, which has a regular production schedule of Monday to Thursday, is the largest kosher poultry producer in the United States.

Company spokesperson Elie Rosenfeld told Haaretz that the...