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Passover and Seder Updates (as of April 3, 2020)

This Passover will not be the first time that Jews have celebrated Passover in difficult times. We can still find joy and meaning in our Festival of Freedom, even in a time of necessary distancing. Here is some advice for this Passover in our Baltimore Hebrew Congregation community:

Family Seders: We know that it will be emotionally difficult to not gather together, especially with those who live less than a mile from us. Our long-term health, the health of others, and the ability to celebrate future Passovers, all call for us to put health protocols first. However, we encourage you to consider joining together virtually, as we suggest below: 
Virtually Connected Seders: Sitting in different homes, you can connect your Seders with those of family and friends. If it is only two homes, try Facetime or simply call with a cell phone and use the speakerphone function. If you want to connect more than 2 homes, try Zoom. Here are some zoom tips we’ve learned from hosting many services, meetings and classes during this time: 
  • Only the person hosting the online meeting needs a zoom account. Other households joining the Seder do not need an account. 
  • A free account can host up to 40 minutes of Seder and a relatively inexpensive paid account allows unlimited time. 
  • Familiarize yourself with Zoom on a computer, iPad, smartphone in advance. Be particularly ready to help the non-digital natives among you (people who didn’t grow up with computers) navigate the technology. Younger people can often be helpful and feel important in this role. 
  • You might want to ask different households or individuals to contribute by “leading” part of the Seder or bringing in their own version of Haggadah. This takes the burden off one person or family to lead everything
BHC First and Second Night Seders: This year, BHC will be offering two online Seders via Zoom, each beginning at 5 pm. Rabbi Busch will lead on the first night (April 8) and Rabbi Sachs-Kohen on the second night of Passover (April 9). Each Seder will last approximately 30-45 minutes. No Haggadah necessary. Even if you will be holding your own Seder later in the evening, we invite you to join us at our community Seders.
Wednesday April 8
5 pm: Passover 1st Night Seder
Join here:  Meeting ID: 811-134-005 Or call: +1-646-558-8656
Thursday April 9
5 pm: Passover 2nd Night Seder
Join here: Meeting ID: 580-138-689  Or call: +1-646-558-8656
BHC First and Seventh Day Services
Thursday April 9
10 am: Watch on live-streaming a Service of Hallel Psalms and Passover Teaching. 
Wednesday April 15
10 am: Watch on live-streaming a Service of Yizkor, Passover Music and Teaching. 
Some Online Resources:
Haggadot Online
Central Conference of Reform Rabbis has some free online versions and Kindle downloads available: Click here:
The Family Participation Haggadah and A Night to Remember (Please be respectful and only use these free online versions for 2020, then delete, as the creators have asked. BHC has limited printed copies to borrow in future years. Click here:
Kids Activities Online:
The Greatest Escape: A Kid-Friendly Telling of the Passover Story For Reading to/with Children under age 7. Click here:
A Lion King Passover Song by the Music Group “Six13”. Click here:
Ways to Observe the Command “Let All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat”: 
Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger: Click here:
Maryland Food Bank: Click here:
Musical and Other Enriching Offerings:
Reform Jewish Songlist: Click here:
Selection of Passover Videos: Click here:
Of Interest to Interfaith Families: Click here:
Keeping Kosher for Passover:
Keeping Kosher for Passover: As in any year, Reform Jewish practice is to observe the seven days found in Torah rather than the eight days as some Jews follow. Some BHC members do observe an additional day. If you plan ahead, it should be possible to purchase Passover foods. Additionally, we remind you that Reform Judaism has embraced the idea of either the more restrictive Ashkenazi or the broader Sephardic practice of allowing rice, corn, legumes etc which is called kitniyot. Whatever your situation, we encourage you to follow Passover and to select Seder plate symbols best that you can, remembering that our ancestors were also just doing the best they could in a very uncertain time.
Holidays are always moments of heightened emotion – both joyful and sad. In this unprecedented Passover season, we are all experiencing more separation than normal. Please remember that for those who are normally more isolated, coming together at Passover is often a welcome break in a lonelier routine. This Passover it is incumbent on all of us to connect with those who are even more isolated than we are and include them in our Passover celebration. Facetime, zoom, or a simple phone call can include someone in your Seder to make everyone feel less alone. 
In each generation, we are obligated to see ourselves as if we personally were redeemed from Egypt. Individually and communally, we wish you, your loved ones, and our entire Baltimore Hebrew Congregation community a sweet Pesach and a sense of redemption.
— Rabbi Andrew Busch
— Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen
Get Swabbed! Chai Life, BHC's 20s and 30s Community Videostreaming
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