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B’nai Israel wishes everyone a meaningful and safe Pesah! Our celebrations will look different this year, but we will continue to tell the story of our exodus from Egypt l’dor v’dor.

Pesah (Passover) 2021

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 eight-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.

pesah service times

There are no services on Saturday or Sunday evenings.
Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday morning services are in person. See below.

Saturday, March 27 - Seder Night
Light candles after 7:52 PM

Sunday, March 28 - First Day of Pesah
9:00 AM Festival Service*
Light candles after 7:54 PM

Monday, March 29 - Second Day of Pesah
9:00 AM Festival Service*
Yom Tov ends at 7:55 PM

Wednesday, March 31 - Fourth Day of Pesah
7:15 AM Shaharit Pesah*

Friday, April 2 - Sixth Day of Pesah
6:15 PM Shabbat Ma’ariv
Light candles at 7:15 PM

Saturday, April 3 - Seventh Day of Pesah
9:00 AM Festival Service*
Light candles after 8:00 PM

Sunday, April 4 - Eighth Day of Pesah
9:00 AM Festival Service* with
Yizkor Prayers (10:40 AM)
The festival ends at 8:01 PM.

All other weekday services, from Monday night through Friday morning, will be held at their regular time on Zoom. For service access, go to

*To attend this service in person,please email Allison Karasik (

PESAH Torah Readings

Pesah Day 1 (Sunday, March 28)
Pesah Day 2 (Monday, March 29)Text Sheet Hillel & Benei Beteira
Pesah Day 7 (Shabbat, April 3)
Pesah Day 8 (Sunday, April 4)

PESAH 2021 resources

Rabbinical Assembly Pesah Guide

Mekhirat Hametz—Selling of Hametz  
Click here to grant Rabbi Mitchell Berkowitz permission to sell your hametz on your behalf. Forms must be returned before 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 25.

Siyyum Bekhorot—Siyyum for the First Born
Thursday, March 25
8:00 AM (after the 7:15 AM minyan)
The “fast of the first born” typically takes place on Erev Passover, and a first born is made exempt from this fast by participating in a celebration of learning, a siyyum. This year, when Erev Passover falls on Shabbat, the Fast of the First Born is moved to Thursday so as to maintain the joyous nature of Shabbat. 

To attend the service and siyyum in person, please email Allison Karasik. "Grab and go" breakfast, generously sponsored by Micki & Lowell Gordon, will be provided for those who attend the service in person. You can also participate by Zoom at

Click here to download the handout for the Siyyum Bekhorot.

Bedikat Hametz—Search for the Hametz
Thursday, March 25, in the evening
Family Scavenger Hunt at 7:15 pm
Passover requires preparation! Once we clear all the hametz from our homes, we complete a ritual search for any crumbs and pieces left behind. Visit to download a special Bedikat Hametz scavenger hunt guide to this fun, family-friendly mitzvah.

Bi’ur Hametz—Disposal of Hametz 
It is customary to burn all hametz collected during the search on the following morning. Other methods of disposal are also permitted. The procedure is modified this year with Passover starting upon the conclusion of Shabbat. 

  1. The hametz is burned in the morning on Friday, March 26, but the traditional nullification formula is NOT recited.
  2. Hallah on Shabbat is a challenge because the kitchen needs to be completely koshered before the start of Shabbat and we are not supposed to eat matzah until Passover begins. The easiest way to make motzi on Friday evening is to use egg matzah. The other option is to be VERY careful that no breadcrumbs end up on your dishes or on the floor. The remainder of the Shabbat meal should be kosher for Passover. 
  3. No hametz may be eaten after 11:06 AM on Saturday. No hametz may be eaten after this time. 

B’nai Israel Discount for SouperGirl’s Passover Menu
Passover is just around the corner and Soupergirl is here to help with its healthy, hand-crafted, all natural, absolutely delicious Passover meal delivery program. The Soupergirl menu includes some classics (charoset, tsimmes, and more), along with a full list of delicious soups and desserts. Everything is 100% plant-based (parve). Soupergirl is now accepting orders here. This year, Soupergirl is offering a special 5% discount for B'nai Israel members. Enter the code BNAI when checking out. Delivery is available for orders over $50 ($13 delivery fee). Contactless curbside pick-up at the Soupergirl Takoma location is also available. For questions, click here to send an email. 

Online resources

Large Print Haggadot From the Jewish Braille Institute of America

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Haggadahs-R-Us is again offering free downloads of several hagaddotClick here for more information.

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,

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.

Passover Music by Cantor Josh Perlman 

Join B’nai Israel’s own March madness

Vote for your favorites in our Passover Food Challenge Bracket! Which Passover food will be crowned the B’nai Israel favorite? 

Click here to learn more.

PESAH 2021 WORKSHOPS & programming

We invite you to join us (and view the recordings) for the following workshops and celebrations:

Revisionist History? A Seder Workshop with Rabbi Michael Safra
Wednesday, March 10
7:30 PM
Register here.

EPIC Shabbat: Escape from Egypt!
Saturday, March 13
10:15 AM
Learn more here.

Not Your Zeyde’s Passover Seder with B’nai Israel Clergy
Tuesday, March 16
7:30–9:00 PM
Whether you are leading a seder for the first time, or the fiftieth, there is always something to learn! Join us for a special workshop in which we explore various methods to more meaningfully engage friends and family members at your upcoming Passover seder. This program will address both those who will gather over Zoom and those who plan for in-person sedarim. Presented by the Workshops Task Force of the Adult Education Committee. Register here

Special Blumberg-Zalis Family Library Hours
Looking for something new and different for your Passover seder this year? Check out a selection of haggadot, books, Passover cookbooks, and other resources, for all age groups, to enhance your celebration of Passover this year. Contact our librarian, Jill Gendelman, with questions.  Learn more here.

Talmud Torah Pesah Program
Sunday, March 21
9:30–11:30 AM
This school-wide program includes music, rituals, and a creative experience for all students from K–6 grade. Learn more here.

Social Action: Deliver Passover Packages
Sunday, March 21
9:30 AM–12:00 PM
Help us deliver Passover packages to senior residents in the Rockville and Leisure World areas.  The program chair will be handing out the packages and names and addresses of recipients in the B’nai Israel parking lot in the morning.  In the past, volunteers have delivered 5 to 7 packages.  We ask that all deliveries be done before noon that day.  Learn more here.

Bonim & Machar: Chocolate Seder (Grades K–5)
Sunday, March 21
12:30–1:30 PM
Grab your yummy chocolate and have a delicious chocolate seder with all your Bonim and Machar friends. Learn more here.

Noar B'Yachad: Passover Program (Grades 7–12)
Tuesday, March 23
6:00–7:45 PM
Students will explore the deeper meanings behind Passover as they delve into the Haggadah.  Learn more here.

Manna Food Drive: Passover Ma'ot Hitin
Wednesday, March 24
10:00 AM-12:00 PM in the B'nai Israel Parking Lot
Learn more here.

Scavenger Hunt: Searching for Hametz
Thursday, March 25
7:15 pm
Passover requires preparation! Once we clear all the hametz from our homes, we complete a ritual search for any crumbs and pieces left behind. Join us for a family-friendly virtual scavenger hunt where you will help Rabbi Berkowitz find all of the hametz in his house! Sarah Jarvis, Director of Youth Engagement, will help lead the search on Zoom. 

The Perlman Family Seder
Sunday, March 28
6:30 PM
Join the Perlman brothers, Rabbi Eli, Rabbi Richard, Hazzan Emanuel, and Cantor Josh on the second night of Passover for their family seder. A Haggadah will appear on your screen so everyone will be able to follow along together. The evening will begin with a short yom tov Ma'ariv (evening) service for those who wish to recite Kaddish. We will pause the video and sound during the meal and will resume approximately 45 minutes later. Please have your seder plate and meal ready. Click here for access.

Top It How You Like It with Kara Rosenwald
Wednesday, March 31
4:30–6:00 PM
Are you tired of eating your matzah in the same boring way? Are you excited to try some new recipes to take your Passover to the next level? Join us for Top It How You Like It, a family cooking program led by Kara Rosenwald of Jewish Cooking with a Twist. We will be making the best matzah pizza ever plus a yummy matzah dessert. Register here.

Flowers for Your Seder Table
For family, friends, or you!  Arrangements can be customized.  $55 local delivery, $65 out-of-area delivery.  Contact Linda Heller for details.

Sisterhood Judaica Shop 
The shop will be open for business on Tuesday, March 16, 10:00 AM–12:00 PM. Stop by to see all of our Passover wares to enhance your seder! You can also shop online for Passover Judaica and giftware from the Sisterhood Judaica Shop on their newly launched website.

Tue, September 28 2021 22 Tishrei 5782