Thousands of Passover events took place over the last two weeks in Jewish communities across the FSU. Close to 1,000 Seder nights were held, complimented with Passover food package deliveries, holiday activities for all ages, celebrations and learning.
“Passover is one of the most important Jewish holidays, and as such, the FJC applies tremendous effort to bring the taste of it to every corner of the region where there are Jews – from the small villages in Ukraine to mountain settlements in the Caucuses,” said Mr. Daniel Gordon, an FJC coordinator.
Those towns and villages that do not have a permanent community all year round were visited by FJC representatives – rabbinical students and other volunteers, 200 overall – who helped to organize and lead Passover Seders and activities.
Meanwhile, the established FJC communities held dozens of Seders to help accommodate all those who wanted to join. In Moscow alone, over 150 Seders were held, organized by location, age and other parameters, so that every Jew could find a comfortable place.
The largest Seder was led by Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, in Moscow’s Jewish community center. A memorable one was also held in Moscow’s Butirsky prison, the world’s oldest functioning jail that has been continuously working for over two hundred and forty years. During Communist rule many Jews have been imprisoned there for keeping their beliefs and traditions.
In Odessa, Ukraine, another 15 Seders were organized to answer the growing demand. “Ideally, the best is when each family organizes their own Passover Seder in their home with family, but for now not everyone has the means or the knowledge to do so. This is why Jewish communities all over the world organize Seders to which all Jews are invited. Our region is no exception, and we are happy to see that each year more and more people become interested in their heritage and traditions,” said rabbi Avraham Wolf, chief rabbi of Odessa.