Amid coronavirus isolation, Chabad offers Seder-to-Go kits
SHELTON — Chabad of Shelton and Monroe is offering Sedar-to-Go kits to members of the Jewish community preparing to celebrate Passover, which begins Wednesday.
The state’s mandate preventing gatherings of more than five people will leave members of the Jewish community unable to gather for the seder with family, friends and community as normally planned, which promoted Chabad of Shelton and Monroe to act.
“For many, this will be their first foray into leading it themselves,” said Rabbi Shneur Brook of Chabad of Shelton and Monroe. “And while there is not a noticeable supply shortage, this is something many may find difficult preparing for for the first time.”
The free Seder-to-Go kits contain instructions on how to conduct a Passover seder as well as traditional foods. The kit, Brook said, will ensure that every Jew in Shelton and Monroe wishing to hold a Passover seder can easily do so, whether they are in quarantine or just isolating at home.
In the past, Chabad of Shelton has led a large community Passover seder open to the public, including providing for the homebound and institutionalized.
This year with social distancing measures in place, Brook said Chabad has ramped up those efforts to ensure that everyone will have what they need to celebrate the holiday in their homes.
“While traditionally, Passover is a time when families and communities come together, this year, we’ll each be celebrating at home,” said Brook. “That’s why we’re making sure that everyone has what they need to celebrate Passover.”
Brook is offering an online crash course and model seder to teach people how to conduct the service, as well as sharing online Passover resources at www.Chabad.org/CoronaPassover made to help people through this year’s unique Passover.
While many grocery stores have machine-made square matzahs, also being made available are traditional, round shmurah matzah, adding a unique flavor and experience to the seder, the announcement said.
The local effort is part of a global Passover campaign that began in 1954, when the late Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson launched the shmurah matzah initiative as part of an effort to create awareness and promote observance of the holiday, the announcement said.
An estimated 4 million hand-baked shmurah matzahs will be distributed by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement leading up to Passover.
As leavened products cannot be owned by an observant Jew on Passover, Chabad of Shelton is providing a chametz-sale service online. The chametz is set aside in one’s home, sold to a non-Jew for the duration of Passover and bought back after the holiday is over. The chametz sale service is done through Chabad.org, which coordinates approximately 90,000 chametz transactions a year. This year, with synagogues shuttered, they anticipate the number to jump to 350,000, Brook said.
“We are praying for the full and speedy recovery of everyone who has been affected by this terrible virus,” said Leah Brook. “While each in our own homes, remember you are not alone and we are all in this together. Faith, tradition and community has never been more important than now. With the help of God and community, we will come out of this stronger than ever before.”
To contact Chabad of Shelton, call 203-364-4149 or email Office@JewishShelton.com.
The online tutorial link can be found on the Chabad Facebook page.