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Virtual Passover @ the PJCC

The Journey Forward

This year for Pesach we consider the story of Exodus through the modern, COVID-19-era lenses of resilience, courage, and overcoming what has felt like collective powerlessness. Please join us in an exploration of how we may now chart an empowered course forward, honoring the journey and our journey mates.

“Once we were slaves in Egypt and then we were wrested out of slavery and journeyed forth to the Land of Promise.” This is the story that Jews retell each year at the Passover Seder. It may be the Jewish People’s most important story.

The Hebrew name for Egypt, mitzrayim, is derived from the word tzar, meaning “the narrow place.” This is a place of constriction, of suffering. It is a place everyone finds themselves in at one time or another in life. It is a place we, our loved ones, our communities, in fact, our whole world have inhabited this last year in response to the pandemic.

It is just over a year since we were instructed to stay at home. Schools, community centers, and houses of worship were shuttered, as were most stores. We were told to wear masks and not to be in close proximity to other people. Hand-washing became a ritual performed dozens of times each day.

During this year we have experienced fear and anxiety, isolation, sorrow, loss, and grief. We have watched people we love suffer in many different ways. We’ve also discovered new ways of connecting to family and friends. We found resilience, courage, and hope. As the ancient Israelites did, we are now journeying forward out of the pandemic and toward the promise of a safer, better world.

To celebrate Passover this year, and in the spirit of creating virtual community, we invite you to share your personal and family journey from the beginning of the pandemic to this time in which we hopefully are leaving it behind. Please consider these questions and, if you wish, share your thoughts on the virtual bulletin boards we have created:

  • What do you remember from the beginning of the pandemic?
  • As the pandemic progressed, what emotions did you feel?
  • During the pandemic, what brought you hope?
  • What did you learn from the past year?
  • Who or what invited you to feel joy and/or fulfillment?
  • What do you hope will be different in the next year for you, your community, and your country?

To respond to questions:

1. Visit our virtual discussion board for Passover 2021.
2. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can simply reply to the question.
3. However, if you want your name to appear with your comment, you must create a Padlet account. (You can sign up for the free version.)
4. You can edit your Profile (username, etc.) by clicking on the icon in the top right corner of the screen. Select “Profile,” then edit or add the information. For more information on getting started with Padlet, you may check their user guide.

We also invite you to add photos and images of your own as a comment.


Educational Resources

Click to expand each item to explore our recommended resources for your observance of Passover.

For Your Virtual Seder

2 for Seder’s Resources for Virtual Seders
Tips, discussion cards, suggested music, and more for your own Virtual Seder, provided by our friends at 2 for Seder.

What We Carried With Us: Video Haggadah and Discussion Guide
JCCSF presents an original collection of 10 brief films that explore the themes of Passover through the stories of modern day refugees and descendants. It includes Jewish stories as well as others. The whole thing lives on line and it would be easy to add to your seder, or share as a resource with your community.

About the Holiday

PJCC Passover Holiday Page
Want to learn more about the story of Passover and how it is celebrated? Visit our informative Passover page.

My Jewish Learning: Everything You Want to Know about the Seder and More
A concise introduction to essential elements of Passover: the purpose of the Seder, the Haggadah, the symbolism of the Seder plate, and more.

Family Holiday Fun Pack for Passover

Thanks to our colleagues at Jewish LearningWorks, we are able to provide families with a fun packet of holiday resources and activities that includes a family-friendly telling of the Passover story, recipes, Seder suggestions, and more. Download and enjoy!

Resources for Families

The 2021 Quick Guide to Celebrating Passover With Kids from PJ Library

How to Celebrate Passover During the Pandemic from Kveller

Another Pandemic Passover: Lessons Learned From Last Year from Washington Parent

Passover crafts, tips, and ideas from Bible Belt Balabusta:

Passover Story Time with Jeni
Join Jeni and her puppet pal Shabbatasaurus as they read The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah! (Read with permission from PJ Library & Holiday House Publishers)

“The Passover Story in 10 Scenes”—Video from PJ Library
Journey through the Passover story in 10 scenes, beautifully illustrated in the River Ride, a companion piece to the PJ Library Haggadah.

Storytime: A Retelling of the Story of Passover
PJ Library presents the Passover story for children.

Shaboom! Family-friendly Videos from BimBam
A creative video about Passover for children.

PJ Library Family Resources for Passover
Crafts, stories, activities, and more—from PJ Library, for your family.

Get Ready for Your Seder!
An easy how-to for a Seder plate with items you probably have at home.

BimBam: The Four Questions for Kids: Get Ready for Passover
Learn to sing the Four Questions!

Recipes & Meal Ideas

Matzo Tiramisu with Chef Jake Cohen
Wednesday, March 24 • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
From the desert to dessert! Cook along with chef Jake Cohen as he brings together matzo and tiramisu for a decadent Passover treat – Tiramatzu.

Presented by JCCSF. Registration required; takes place via Zoom.

My Jewish Learning: Passover Recipes
Recipes for Passover “classics” and basics, main dishes, soups & sides, and desserts.

DIY Charoset Bar
Yum! Make your own DIY charoset bar perfectly styled with your pantry’s offerings.

Local Catering Options

Can’t cook at home? Enjoy these • options!

Catered Passover Meal Pickup with Ladle & Leaf
Pickup Time: Friday, March 264:00 pm (Orders must be placed by Friday, March 19 at 3:00 pm)
Offering full kosher-style Passover meals for two to five people as well as full Seder plate fixing kits. Pricing, order dates & link for purchase available on the Ladle & Leaf website.

Recommended Books

The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary by Rabbi Michael Strassfeld

Seasons of Our Joy: A Modern Guide to Jewish Holidays by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays by Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg

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