This Passover, 2 for Seder did not fight against anti-Semitism and hate as we had intended for the past year. Instead, we fought back against isolation and the bleakness that it brings. While our 200 partners in the Jewish professional world were rightly focusing on how to swing or save their operations and continue the good work across North America, we decided to stay focused on Passover, building bridges and the joy of the holiday.
We created a webinar to help people “Host a Virtual Seder” to help include relatives, friends and neighbors who would be alone or close to alone on the family gathering known as a time to celebrate and be together. About 800 people signed up to learn the practical side of hosting a virtual Seder. We had more than 30 tips in our webinar, a great Resource Page and even a few video tips. Let me leave you with just one more Virtual Seder Tip.
This is a unique Seder, where family that does not usually get together is on the line. Friends who are not comfortable with technology are overcoming their fears and will be there with you. Kids will take over the camera and put it in their ears or a super close-up of the dog’s face. Mistakes will be made, stories will be told, close-hold recipes will be shared, moments that will never be repeated will happen. Capture it all!
Over the past few years, my family has lost so many members, including my mother-in-law, Joyce Fienberg, a victim of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. This will be the first year that I am making Seder without her. I have very few pictures of her at the Seder, both of us always too busy in the kitchen to sit and participate in the Haggadah reading.
I pressed record on Passover 2016. It’s a short video of my father-in-law reading from the Haggadah from 2016, when we knew we were close to losing him from cancer. We knew this would probably be the last Seder together. His voice is strong and sure, reading the words that he had heard at least more than 140 times in his life. It’s a recording we have listened to only a few times, when we want to be with him again and can stand the sadness of how the cancer took him. It’s a bridge back to a happier time.
I did press record with Joyce in 2018, just months before her murder. It’s at one of our last extended family gatherings together. It plays in my memory regularly, her sweet and generous soul supremely happy to be at a family simcha. The pain is too raw, and we miss her too much to play it, but it’s there for our family when we are ready.
Don’t miss the joy of this simcha. Press record while the kids are still kids, while parents are still healthy and share it with all your participants. Press record for all those who are too sick to participate in Passover or a Spring holiday this year and are forced to be alone. Press record to remind you that we are together while we are apart this Passover.
Happy Passover from the 2 for Seder Team: Marnie Fienberg and Lauren Kline