Passover in the Time of COVID-19

April 05, 2020
By Avi Rose

With Passover approaching this week, many of us are thinking about how we can maintain connection during the holiday while also being safe in our own homes. We’re thinking about holding our Seders over Zoom or FaceTime, eating separately, but together. We’re thinking about what community means. And most of all, we’re thinking about those without the resources to gather, who are facing hunger, uncertainty, and fear in the face of this extraordinary plague time.

In that spirit, we have created a short JFCS East Bay Community Seder Supplement that we invite you to incorporate into your Seder this year. And as part of your Seder, we also invite you to join JFCS East Bay in supporting this community as we face together one of the most significant challenges we’ve ever seen. As you share these words at your Seder table, please encourage your guests to generously put their compassion into action. We can’t be together physically this year, but we can join together with our hearts and our sense of purpose.


For Jews, Passover summons us to remember that we were strangers in a strange land, and therefore we must always be aware of the strangers in our own time, welcome them, and help them in whatever way we can. We are directed to remember the lessons of our history and take them to heart. This teaching is central in Jewish history and Jewish thought. Today and in every era, it is our responsibility to live up to that teaching. During this most unusual Passover, we come together to offer the following four questions. Download the JFCS East Bay Community Seder Supplement to continue reading.


In this time of crisis, vulnerable seniors, Holocaust survivors, families, immigrants, and refugees are increasingly turning to JFCS East Bay for assistance. In response, we are providing food deliveries, grocery store gift cards, rental subsidies, crisis counseling, case management, therapy, parenting support, immigration legal services, assistance with applying for unemployment insurance and other benefits, advocacy with landlords, volunteer matching, and much more.

However you observe Passover this year, please support your community as part of your gathering. Be as generous as you can.

JFCS East Bay wishes you and your loved ones health, safety, and a joyful and meaningful holiday.