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passover 2021


Passover is a holiday of hope and renewal, especially this year. Nature’s spring is the backdrop for our people’s Exodus story of freedom. In our Livestream holiday services, though apart, we will rejoice together. 
All services are available for you to join via Livestream and Facebook Live at under Beth El Live – Services, or you can click here
Siyyum B'Khorim
First Born Minyan 
Thursday, March 25, 7:30 am
Join us on Zoom

A morning minyan via Zoom followed by a study session before the last hametz meal before Passover. The tradition of participating in a Siyyum B’khorim marks the role of the first born of both Israel and Egypt in the Exodus story. Attendance at this minyan is a special mitzvah for all first-born males. First born daughters and everyone else are also welcome. 

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Hol HaMoed Daily Minyan
Join us on Zoom
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday March 30, 31 & April 1 at  7:30 am

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Festival Services 
Join us on Zoom and Livestream
Sunday & Monday Morning, March 28 & 29, 9:30 am
Friday Evening, April 2, 6:15 pm

Saturday & Sunday Morning, April 3 & 4, 9:30 am
Yizkor Memorial Prayers will be recited on Sunday April 4

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Pandemic Lessons for Passover
Thursday, March 18, 7:30 pm
Rabbi Ron Shulman
Register here
Join us on Zoom

Reading the Passover story this year, we wonder. What have we learned during this Pandemic year since last Passover? How might we read ourselves and our experiences into the Exodus story this year? Join Rabbi Shulman to explore the texts of Exodus, the context for our Seder celebrations this year, and helpful Haggadah hints.

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Congregation Beth El Zoom Passover Second Seder Starter
Sunday, March 28, 6:30 pm
Register here
Join us on Zoom

We invite you to connect with us to celebrate Passover. We will be on Zoom for a 20-minute Seder Starter experience. We’ll make Kiddush together, set out Seder symbols, ask some questions, and share insights. To join with us, please register above and we’ll send you the Zoom invitation link.

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Zoom Passover Seder Songs
Sunday, March 28, 7:30 pm
Register here
Join us on Zoom

For those of you who’d like to continue celebrating on Zoom, David Lipsitz will host a Zoom Passover Seder Songs sing-along. To join with David, please register above and we’ll send you the Zoom invitation link.

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Chocolate Seder
(Grades 6-12)
Sunday, March 14, 4:00 pm
Register here by 3/5
Join us on Zoom

Enjoy a traditional Pesach seder with a sweet twist of chocolate and games. Please register by March 5 at 5 pm, in order to receive your complimentary snacks and Haggadah for the seder. If you sign up after the registration deadline, you are still welcome to participate, and we will provide you with a list of ingredients needed for the program.

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Kadima Pesach Event
(Grades 4-6)
Sunday, March 21, 10:45 am
Join us on Zoom
Join your fellow Beth El Kadima Friends (grades 4-6) for a fun and interactive Pesach themed event: Who Stole the Afikomen. During this program we will utilize our knowledge on Pesach in order to win this spinoff version of the board game clue.

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Join us on Zoom
TNT Who Stole the Afikomen?
(Grades 9-12) 7th and 8th grades are welcome!
Thursday, March 25, 6:00 pm
Join us on Zoom

Join your fellow Beth El teens for a fun and interactive Pesach themed event: Who Stole the Afikomen. During this program we will utilize our knowledge on Pesach in order to win this spinoff version of the board game clue.

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To enhance your Seder celebrations, we offer you:

Seders in Seclusion: Suggestions for Ritual Symbols and Seder Activities

Click here for a PDF of explanations and ideas prepared by Rabbi Shulman to help us plan this year’s Seder celebrations, whether we’re together or apart.

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Haggadah Hineni, A Personal Participation Passover Haggadah
Click here for a PDF of this Haggadah Rabbi Shulman created last year to help us all experience personally engaging and enjoyable Seder gatherings. We share it with you this year as a resource. You may wish to use one, two, or a few of the questions and comments to guide intimate Seder discussions in person or with your virtual participants.

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The Feast of Freedom, Rabbinical Assembly Haggadah

Click here for a PDF of this popular and complete Haggadah. If you’re conducting a virtual Seder with participants in more than one location, everyone can be using the same Haggadah.

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Passover is a season of hope, renewal, and life. Nature’s spring is the backdrop for our People’s story of beginnings and freedom. Passover’s message and mood lift us up and encourage us to look ahead to better days and brighter times.

As we get ready for our holiday, we pause to consider the meanings of freedom and human dignity we celebrate during the days of Passover. Anticipating Pesah, we are optimistic. In the course of time we may feel differently, but before our festival we look forward. As spring begins, we need Passover’s reminder. We are keepers of the vision, advocates for redemption.

Celebrating Pesah by gathering with family and friends around our Seder Tables, we attach our personal lives and concerns to the grand and potent moral principles for which God brought our ancestors out of Egypt.

On Passover the food we eat teaches us to pay proper attention to each and every person we# meet. Matzah symbolizes freedom and human dignity. Matzah represents goodness and truth. It is made of any grain that can ferment or become Hametz: wheat, rye, oats, barley, or spelt. On Passover, Hametz, fermented grains and foods, suggests human arrogance and injustice. Of course, grain is not honest or unjust, good or bad. We are. That’s why limiting ourselves to the pure, unleavened grains of Matzah we eat on Passover reminds us to live for and to do good, to open ourselves to others, to form relationships and honor every person.

The freedom and equality we seek for all people requires humility, not arrogance. We wish not to live as people serving our own wills. Fermented grain implies personal and social excess. Unleavened bread suggests modesty. Passover teaches us that human arrogance is held in check by awareness of existence beyond ourselves. The change we make from Hametz to Matzah symbolizes that our efforts in life are in service of God and the values of God’s presence in our world.

Matzah was there from the beginning to the end. It was not only the dough which our ancestors did not have the time to let rise as they left Egypt, but the bread of affliction which they ate as slaves. Matzah, the bread of slaves, became the sustenance of a free people.

On Passover we turn our basic need for food and nourishment into the symbolic agent through which we express our faith and personal values. Just as all Matzah is potentially Hametz, so are we descendants of unpretentious slaves potentially the hardened and conceited of heart and mind. One week each year we return to the core ideals and basic visions of the goodness, honesty, and dignity our lives should reflect.

The physical process of cleaning, preparing, and changing our homes and kitchens is intended to inform our spiritual identities. Ritual and tradition without ethics is also ritual and tradition without deeper meaning.


First, before you begin cooking for the holiday, remove from your kitchen foods containing Hametz - grains and their derivatives you won’t be eating during the holiday. These include: breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, cereals, pasta, and the like. All liquids containing grain alcohol should also be removed. Many Ashkenazi families also remove legumes like rice, corn, beans, and peas, called Kitniyot, from their kitchens.

You may store unopened packages and dry goods you will want to use after Passover in another place, perhaps in the garage or a closet, or even in a kitchen cabinet that will remain closed throughout Pesah. These items should be "sold" before Passover to symbolically cancel your ownership of them. It is customary to make a modest contribution to feed others as part of this "sale." Many people also donate some of these foods to shelters and soup kitchens for the benefit of others.

Second, identify where in your kitchen you will place your Passover dishes, utensils, and cookware. If necessary, thoroughly clean your kitchen paying close attention to the cupboards and drawers you will use on Passover, the refrigerator, freezer, countertops, and sink. Your stovetop should be scrubbed clean. Afterward, turn the burners on to full flame or heat for just a moment. After cleaning your microwave oven, place a glass of water into it and turn the oven on until the water boils. A self-cleaning oven can be made ready for Passover by its normal cleaning method. Other ovens should be scoured and run on high for a brief period after they are clean. Run your empty dishwasher through a complete wash cycle to prepare it for use. When your kitchen is clean, pour boiling water over any exposed metal surfaces and you’ll be ready to bring in your Passover foods and utensils.

Dishes, pots, and utensils especially reserved for Passover should be used. (If you don’t have separate Passover dishes, use paper, plastic, and other disposable or recyclable items to help keep costs down.) Any utensils or pots made entirely of metal you use during the rest of the year may be placed in boiling water after they have been scoured and then used during Passover. All table glassware can be used after complete cleaning. Earthenware, enamel, wood, porcelain, and plastic items you use during the year cannot be made Kosher for Passover. Towels and linens can be used after they have been washed. Purchase new sponges for Passover. Close away or store those things in your kitchen that you will not be using during the holiday.

Third, bring your Kosher for Passover foods into your prepared and very clean kitchen! The only foods that require a "Kosher for Passover" label are: all Matzah products and baked goods, processed foods, (canned, bottled, or frozen) wine, vinegar, liquor, oils, dried fruits, candy, chocolate flavored milk, ice cream, yogurt, and soda. Many other products are labeled "Kosher for Passover" and it is always preferable to use them during the holiday.

Consumer warning: Watch out for the vast variety of foods marketed and sold for Passover that imitate Hametz. You probably won’t use or need them anyway. Keep focused on the values of the Passover holiday while remembering it is a festive and special time. A good rule of thumb is, "if I wouldn’t buy this during the other fifty-one weeks of the year, why do I need it now?"

On the night before the First Seder, carefully hide a few breadcrumbs around the house and send your children on a hunt to find them. This is known as Bedikat Hametz, a final search to rid the house of Hametz. The quaint custom is to take a feather and wooden spoon, scoop the breadcrumbs into a paper bag, and then burn it all. The B’rakhot, blessings, that are recited for this ritual are found in most Haggadot.

In addition to delivering your hametz for the use of others, consider making a contribution to Congregation Beth El for Jewish Family Service’s Passover Food Drive and/or Mazon: A Jewish Response To Hunger to provide food for those in need. This tzedakah is known in Jewish tradition as Ma’ot Hitim (Grain Money.)

Finally, prepare your Seder celebration in advance of your family and friend’s arrival. Preparing a meaningful Seder is one of the most important needs we have as Passover approaches. Think about who will be present with you, how long they can sit, what ideas and activities will best interest and engage them, and how you can join together in retelling the story of our people’s Exodus from Egypt. A “talking Seder” of discussion, games, or activities and conversation using the Haggadah for the Seder’s order, prayers, and explanation of symbols works well!

Thu, January 20 2022 18 Shevat 5782