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Pesah (Passover) 2020

Passover is Zeman Heiruteinu, the Season of Our Freedom from Slavery in Egypt. The highlight of the festival is the Seder, the ritualized “retelling” of the story of the Exodus. We are guided by special songs, foods, and symbols – including matzah (unleavened bread), maror (bitter herbs), haroset (a tasty dish of apples, nuts, and wine), 4 cups of wine, and more. In preparation for the holiday, Jews take special care to clear their houses of hametz (leaven), which cannot be consumed throughout the 8-day festival. The liturgy of the first day of the holiday includes Tefilat Tal, the Prayer for Dew upon the conclusion of the rainy season in Israel. Services on the last day include the Yizkor memorial prayers, and each daily service includes a special Torah reading.

We understand that many people have questions related to this unprecedented situation and the celebration of Passover. We invite you to join us for the following workshops:

  • Monday, March 30, at 10:30 AM, Kid-Focused Seder Workshop with Arielle Katzel. Small seder this year? That’s the perfect opportunity to design an experience around your kids’ interests! Spend some time with Arielle as she shares some of her ideas (activities are best for children ages 4-11). ZOOM or Facebook Live
  • Tuesday, March 31, at 1:00 PM, Seder Song Swap, with Cantor Josh, Cantor Bolts, and Netta Asner. Take time to refresh yourself on some of the seder classics, learn newer songs coming out of Israel, and even enjoy a few parodies. ZOOM or Facebook Live
  • Wednesday, April 1, at 1:00 PM, Model Seder (Beginner), with Rabbi Safra. Learn all the necessary basics to conduct a seder on your own. How do you arrange the seder plate? What are some recommended haggadot? How does one lead a discussion that says enough, doesn’t include too much, and engages everyone at my table? ZOOM or Facebook Live
  • Thursday, April 2, at 2:00 PM, Leader’s Guide (Intermediate/Advanced), with Rabbi Berkowitz. Take your discussion to the next level with stories and teachings that go beyond the classical text of the Haggadah. ZOOM or Facebook Live
  •  Tuesday, April 7, at 11:30 AM, Pre-School Model Seder. Children in the Schilit Nursery School and beyond are invited for a short, interactive model seder with the clergy. Break the Matzah, sing songs, and show off how ready you are for the big holiday! ZOOM or Facebook Live

We also discussed Passover to some length during last Thursday’s office hours on Facebook Live. You can view that conversation in the B’nai Israel Congregation Facebook Group on the March 19 Live event beginning 45 minutes in to the discussion.



Rabbinical Assembly Pesah Guide

Kashrut Recommendations for Passover 5780 in Light of COVID-19

Streaming Seder–CJLS guidelines for streaming of sedarim

Mekhirat Hametz – Selling of Hametz Click this link to grant Rabbi Mitchell Berkowitz permission to sell your hametz on your behalf.

B’dikat Hametz—The Search for Hametz, and Bi’ur Hametz—Burning Hametz

Siyyum Bekhorim—Siyyum for the First-Born

Large Print Haggadot From the Jewish Braille Institute of America

Passover Music by Cantor Josh Perlman 

For this year’s COVID-19 emergency, Haggadahs-R-Us is offering free downloads of several hagaddot. Click here for more information.


Kosher for Pesah Catering & shopping

We are happy to share with you offerings from local caterers who are here to help make your Pesach planning easier and delicious. Many small businesses have suffered during this unprecedented time, and we hope you will join us in supporting their efforts. Please click below to browse menus and place orders:

Online Haggadot

Learn about the history and structure of the Haggadah at Check out these online Haggadah resources:

Traditional Haggadah by Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner. Find other Passover materials including song parodies at his site,

Abbreviated Haggadah from Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston.

 Make your own Haggadah at

Feast of Freedom Passover Haggadah The Feast of Freedom is available in full as a free PDF. Print copies may be purchased here.

Mon, March 30 2020 5 Nisan 5780