JDC provides tons of matzah, Passover kit and activities, holds seders worldwide

April 18, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is promoting the diversity of global Jewish life this Passover through its JDC Entwine ReOrdered Passover Kit—a do-it-yourself package including stories, toasts, recipes and traditions from eight Jewish communities worldwide—and continuing its long tradition of matzah delivery and Passover activities in local Jewish communities globally.

Continuing JDC’s long-held tradition of matzah delivery for Passover, a volunteer provides matzah to elderly client in Odessa, Ukraine. Credit: Courtesy.

Among these activities are seder meals, cooking workshops, volunteer opportunities, and cultural and educational events from Mumbai to Moscow. The provision of more than 25 tons of matzah to poor, elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union is made possible through JDC’s partnerships with the Claims Conference, Jewish Federations and the IFCJ Lifeline, JDC’s operational partnership with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

“On Passover, Jews are supposed to recount the exodus story as if we personally experienced it, identifying with the suffering and savoring the freedom. There is no better way to celebrate these connections across time and space than by sharing in this collective memory, fulfilling our responsibility to help each other in times of need, and embracing global Jewish traditions at our seder meals,” said JDC CEO David M. Schizer.

In Odessa, a volunteer distributes matzah to a local client. In addition to matzah distribution efforts across the former Soviet Union, JDC is also distributing 88 pounds of matzah to the Jewish community in Egypt. Credit: Courtesy.

The Sydney-based member of the  Leadership Council of the Claims Conference Robert Goot told J-Wire: “The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) or the Joint as it has been known for more than 60 years,  performs truly outstanding humanitarian work amongst Jewish communities worldwide. It partners with the Claims conference in providing the infrastructure to distribute through the Claims Conference, vital assistance to survivors of the Shoah in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The Claims  Conference is proud once again to be associated with this most worthwhile Pesach initiative”

ReOrdered was launched in 2018 by Entwine, JDC’s young-adult engagement platform. The kit offers participants an inside look into the Passover traditions of Jewish communities in Ethiopia, Morocco, the former Soviet Union and Sarajevo. New for this year is an expansion pack highlighting communities in Argentina, Greece, India and Poland.

The free kit, which last year touched more than 7,000 people at their Passover seders, is expected to be used this holiday at more than 400 seders in 18 countries around the world. The kit was created with the support of the William Davidson Foundation.

In addition to the matzah delivery in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, JDC supports multigenerational model seders throughout the post-Soviet region. Volunteers in the region will also continue home visits to homebound and vulnerable populations during the Passover holiday.

Additionally, in Nikolaev, a special Passover concert will take place at a local cafe, and in Kharkov, parents and children are invited to participate in a cooking class focused on traditional Passover dishes. In Zaporozhye, participants can learn the history and traditions of the holiday at a class offered at the local Hesed.

 In Egypt, JDC distributed 88 pounds of matzah, chicken-soup powder and other Passover-food items to help the remaining Jewish population celebrate the holiday.

Communal seders will be offered in communities in Kosice, Montenegro, Bosnia, India, Hungary and Romania. In Hungary, dozens of families will attend a communal seder at the JCC Budapest on the second night of Passover.

In addition to the seders, educational programming and events for children and teens are also planned around Poland, Germany and Romania leading up to the Passover holiday. In Berlin, JDC is supporting a LGBTIQ-friendly seder event, and in Warsaw, local children can participate in the third-annual “Haggadah in the field,” a Passover-themed treasure hunt around the city.


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