Celebrating Passover during COVID-19 pandemic

MADISON, Wis.– Holidays in the age of coronavirus look a little different, but Passover celebrations will go on despite social distancing.

After plans to travel home to Ohio were called off over concerns of COVID-19, Corey Berebitsky made other plans to connect with his family for Passover.

“Since I can’t really go home to my family, my mom is setting up a Zoom meeting for all of our immediate and extended family to join for the service,” Berebitsky said. “I guess most of us are in different time zones, so a few people joining at 3:30 p.m., a few people joining at 6:30 p.m., but all in all, trying to get the family together to continue to celebrate the Passover Seder.”

While holiday logisitics are usually left up to his mom, this will be his first time having to figure out how to cook his own Passover Seder.

“I have never had to shop on my own for this stuff,” Berebitsky said. “So, that’s going to be new.”

Rabbi Avremel Matusof at the Chabad of Madison said this will be a unique Passover for everyone celebrating.

“Some people are going to have to lead a Seder at home. They’re becoming their own Moses. You’ve got to lead the Seder with whoever they have under the same roof,” Matusof said.

Although it will be different, Matusof said the thoughts of freedom and liberation from the past is almost parallel to what the world is facing right now.

“Focus on what’s important. It’s a great time to really celebrate the holiday,” Matusof said. “What’s really cool is this is actually the initial way Passover was celebrated the first year. We were in Egypt. We were told to stay at home that night, don’t go out, you’ve got to quarantine with your family. So, that’s what we are doing here, and it’s fine.”

Chabad of Madison has resources on its website for leading Passover Seder, including recipes. Chabad of Madison is preparing food for curbside pick-up for those who will not be able to buy or cook their own.