It has been a long year—a deep, dark winter. . .but even as the uncertainty of winter continues to touch us (physically and emotionally). . .SPRING has arrived! Pesach (Passover), our great holiday of freedom, of possibility, of movement through the “narrow places” of our lives. . .is finally here. The first Seder begins with Shabbat, Friday night, April 15, 2022.
Finally, we look forward to gathering in small and even (for some) large tables to celebrate our sedarim—grateful that we can be together yet still connect via zoom with family and friends far away. This has been a year of so many deep and mixed emotions for us in Brooklyn and for people across the globe, with war in Ukraine, Covid ups and downs, uncertainty abounds. In the midst of all of this, Pesach comes to us with its promise of freedom and opportunity combined with its demand that we (who were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt) take note of slavery, oppression and injustice wherever it shows itself today. . .that we who once had to flee Egypt at a moment’s notice, work on behalf of the millions of refugees in our world today.
We know that it takes courage, creativity, dedication and determination to create a more just world. And no place can be a more effective inspiration for this critical work than the Passover Seder. My we harness that same persistence, creativity and open-heartedness so that we can, once again, create for ourselves and those we love special opportunities to celebrate with Sedarim filled with good food, with song and conversation that capture the essence of this holiday of freedom and renewal and inspire us to bring its message forward to the world.
It is my hope that with the help of these resources and the community of PSJC, we are all able to have a Passover that is good, meaningful, safe, and celebratory for us all.
Zissen Pesach (A Sweet Passover)!
-Rabbi Carie Carter
Sale of Chametz
This year, it is all-the-more important to sell your chametz. This can be done with this online form. It gives Rabbi Carie permission to sell your chametz to a non-Jewish person for the duration of Passover. Just put your leftover chametz in a sealed cabinet/separate location in your home and allow me to sell it for you. Please fill out our online Chametz Sale form by Thursday, April 14, 2022.
Passover Resurces from USCJ and PSJCers
With Passover starting and the Seders beginning in less than two weeks, we find ourselves searching for ways to add meaningful moments during our Seders and beyond. The resources below, gathered from USCJ’s partner organizations and members of PSJC, will support you in
creating moment, making memories, and maybe even starting some new traditions. We are hopeful that you will find them helpful in bringing meaning to your holiday. USJC's Passover Resources
Resources for Families with Young Children
Still looking for a Haggadah to meet the needs of your whole family? Check out the PJ Library Haggadah. You can download it or order hard copies. Plus you can check out all of the resources from PJ Library on how to host a seder, crafts, and more.
Concerned about a "I only eat plain pasta" kid and Passover? Check out these recipes from PJ Library. If all else fails, milkshakes, with or without nut butter, make a great fall back. It's only a week!
Kveller has put together a great list of Passover crafts. If you're looking to try something new for Seder this year, check out K'ilu Kit for a truly interactive experience. Remember that Passover is about telling the story of the Exodus from one generation to another. Everything else is commentary!
Feed Your Body as Well as Your Soul
Revisit PSJC's first-ever progressive Passover cooking lesson! Learn from our community’s creative cooks how to make halek (Indian charoset), special matzo balls, Pesach rolls and more. Get inspiration for your own sedarim and the days that follow.
From the Rabbi
Pesach 5782: How Different Are These Nights!
Read this letter from Rabbi Carie Carter to the community regarding suggestions to help make this Passover a good and meaningful celebration for you and all you love.
Passover Justice Resources
Pesach is an important moment in the Jewish year in which we are encouraged to speak with family and friends about the very real needs of our world, the places where justice is lacking, where oppression abounds. Here are some great sites filled with readings and information to
help those conversations and actions along.
Ha Lachma Anya—Di Achalu? “This bread of Affliction—Why do we eat it?—because
our ancestors were slaves in the Land of Egypt” How can we tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt with an eye towards the issues of our world today?
Repair the World and HIAS have developed special material for Seder night to help us respond to the current refugee crisis in our world through the eyes of our own story of escape from Egypt and wandering to freedom in the Promised Land.
Religious Action Center contains a huge array of material on social justice issues related to Passover including a series of themed haggadot (such as Invisible: The Story of Modern Slavery, A Social Justice Haggadah; a Hunger Seder Haggadah; an Earth Seder Haggadah). This site also shares the stories behind some of the new/modern additions to our seder plate including: potatoes, Miriam’s Cup, an orange, fair trade chocolate or cocoa beans, tomatoes.
Hazon includes Resources for a Sustainable Pesach, a great resource for ways to protect our environment during Passover.
Kol Dichfin Yeitei v’yei-chul; Kol Ditzrich Yetei v’yifsach—Let all who are hungry comeand eat. Let all who are in need come and celebrate.
The high cost of Passover supplies makes this a difficult time for many Jewish families.
Donations to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund at this season are used for Ma’ot Chittin to provide matzah and other Passover items for those in need.
Hashata hacha, L’shanah haba’ah b’arah d’Yisrael. “ This year we are here, next year in the Land of Israel.” This year, support an organization that promotes co-existence in Israel. The New Israel Fund supports many wonderful organizations and efforts dedicated to this important work.
Hashata Avdei, L’shanah haba’ah b’nai chorin. “This year we are slaves, next year, may we all be free.” Learn more about modern-day slavery at Free the Slaves.
See also Made by Survivors to learn how you might help support the victims of human trafficking.
T’ruah offers: The Other Side of the Sea: A Haggadah for Fighting Modern Slavery.
The Anti-Racism Committee of Rodfei Tzedek has been doing a good deal of work with the Jewish Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform. Consider these texts as a jumping off point for discussions around imprisonment and freedom.
May these and other resources help you bring Pesach’s message forward in deep and relevant ways this year.
An Addition to the Passover Plate
As you are considering additions to your seder plate (along with the orange, olives, and tomatoes of years past), I wanted to let you know that some have been adding a bar of soap or hand sanitizer as a reminder of our need to play a role in our own safety and redemption. I also wanted to invite you to consider sunflower seeds (if you are comfortable with Kitniyot) or a sunflower for the people of Ukraine. Two years ago, members of our congregation, Kenan and
Sojourn, also invite us to add ginger root to our seder plates to remind us of the need to support people of Asian descent who are currently experiencing increased hatred and racism as a result of the pandemic. Here is the invitation from Sojourn and Kenan sent to us.