There is a lot going on this Passover season at Beth El! Read on to see what’s in store. Pay attention to registration deadlines — they’ll be here before you know it!
Passover Party Boxes
Order deadline: EXTENDED until March 15th (Order here!)
If you are a local member of Beth El, you’ve received several delightful deliveries — from High Holiday bags to Mishloach Manot, and even some surprise challot and babka. We’ve heard from many of you that these gifts warmed your hearts, adding dimension to our mostly virtual year. This Passover, we are building on that concept and offering several options of take-home holiday fun, which you can order here. Thanks to a team of wonderful volunteers, we have a range of Passover Party Boxes with different themes:
- Pesach in a Box: get everything you need for your Seder plate, including the plate! This box includes all the Seder plate ritual objects and a booklet with recipes, reflections and resources. The Karpas is a potted parsley plant from One Soil Farm. ($18) Click here to view a digital copy of our Handy Dandy Passover Resource booklet.
- The Classy Classic: enjoy delicious kosher-for-Passover treats like chocolates, nuts and teas, plus a chametz kit (feather, spoon & candle). ($18)
- Family Entertainer Container: made with families of school-aged children in mind, this box is overflowing with self-guided, offline activities for kids. There are coloring pages and single-use activities as well as durable projects to reappear next year — decorate an Afikomen bag and cups for Miriam and Elijah. ($18)
- Chocolate Seder Program Pack: order a supply kit for the Pre-Kadima (K-5) and Kadima (6-8) Zoom program on Sunday, March 21st. Contact Laura for more details. ($5)
- Potted Parsley Plants: purchase a locally grown potted parsley plant from One Soil Farm and bring the hope of spring to your Seder table. The Pesach in a Box option includes one plant, but we have a limited number available to add on while supplies last. ($5)
You are welcome to order any number or combination of boxes. They make great gifts too! We are asking for a modest donation to help cover some of the expenses, but as always, if cost is an issue, ask us for a no-questions-asked 100% discount code to use on the order form. Any proceeds will go to this year’s fundraiser — Beth El’s MicroPantry (more about that below). Pickup will happen via contactless-drive-through at Beth El on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 23rd and 24th from 3:00-6:00pm.
Registration Deadline: March 19th
At this point in our Corona-Journey, it is crucial that we maintain social distancing from people outside our immediate households. Sadly, that means that many of us will be physically alone on Passover — when no one should be without a place at the table. If you are able to (virtually) open your home to fellow Bethelians, please consider hosting a Seder with a Zoom element. We can help with the technology through tutorials, coaching and/or providing a Zoom room.
We will help match folks looking for a Seder with those who have an open seat. If you are interested in either, click here to let us know.
Every year, several congregants gather around a fire with Rabbi Greyber to burn the last of their chametz before the start of the holiday. This year, we are building on the tradition to offer an opportunity for us to gather in small groups outdoors, masked and appropriately distanced. Similar to Rosh Hashana’s shofar-blowing and Chanukah’s candle-lighting, we will require pre-registration in order to ensure a cap of 25 people. Join us on the evening of Thursday, March 25th, for a lively, family-friendly celebration. Or come Friday morning for a more traditional ceremony. Both options will take place at Beth El in 20-minute windows. Sign up here.
Sell Your Chametz
Click here to sell your chametz – the form is due by Wednesday, March 24.
Singing Together: Pesach Shira Project
Submission Deadline: EXTENDED until March 19th
Hearing our voices together in song is powerful and sorely missed. You may remember, during this year’s virtual services for Yom Kippur, hearing the voices of our congregation together singing Avinu Malkeinu. That was thanks to Spencer Garfield’s audio engineering. We are grateful to have him similarly leading the Pesach Shira Project. He will again take our individual voices and edit them together to create a chorus. Everybody is invited to record themselves singing one or both of the selected Passover songs: “Chad Gadya” and “Adir Hu.” Click here to access the lyrics and guide tracks for both. Please have the guide track in your headphones while recording; reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to two beloved Beth El members with great palates, we have some Kosher-for-Passover wine recommendations! Prof. Joel Fleishman, who formerly wrote a wine column for Vanity Fair magazine, and Ben Abram, who recalls his first taste of whiskey in the basement of our fair shul, have curated a selection to spice up your four cups at Passover this year. Find their tasting notes here. They have created two collections at different price points. If you are celebrating with others over Zoom, consider sending them this shopping list as well so that you can at least drink the same wine, even if you’re eating at different tables. You can order directly from KosherWine.com; they will ship straight to your door. If any of the recommended wines are out of stock, please communicate with KosherWine.com directly.
Beth El MicroPantry
We are building a MicroPantry in front of the Beth El building to provide 24/7 access to food for anyone in need. If you’re interested in learning more about the model, click here for an example. Thanks to Aven Schwartz for leading the charge as part of her Bat Mitzvah project. Proceeds from our Passover programs, including the Party Boxes, will go to this project. We will accept donations of non-perishable unexpired food items and can openers to stock the pantry when you pick up your boxes, when you come to the chametz burning, or you can call the office to find a time to drop off at the synagogue. Chametz may not be brought to the MicroPantry during Passover.
Friday March 12, Bethelians Podcast Episode: Rabbi Greyber on Kashering for Passover
Friday March 19, Bethelians Podcast Episode: Rachel Galanter on the History of the Orange on the Seder Plate
To listen, just go to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher and search the name “Bethelians.” You can always listen from the web at https://betheldurham.libsyn.com/.
Wednesday March 24, 7:30-8:30pm: Book Discussion of David Samuel Levinson’s Novel “Tell Me How This Ends Well,” which starts at the Jacobson family’s Seder table with a lighthearted plot to kill their father. Buy the book here or anywhere you get books.Join with this Zoom link (Meeting ID: 865 6823 5430, Passcode: 1004).
Tot Storytime and Singalong
Looking for a DOUBLE mitzvah? Observe Passover AND work to end human slavery and trafficking by ordering soft, handmade, yummy, soft kosher matzah and/or organic shmura flour from Mitzvah Matzos. It’s a win, win, win! Order here and choose Beth El as your Buying Club. Pick up at our Beth El drive-through on Tuesday, March 23rd or Wednesday, March 24th between 3:00-6:00 pm. If you need to make arrangements outside of that window, contact the office.
If you are unable to go into grocery stores to do your own Kosher-For-Passover shopping and are not having luck with online delivery services getting it right, we can help. We have a few volunteers who can pick up some key items. (Don’t forget about the Pesach in a Box Seder plate option listed at the beginning of this email!) If you need assistance or want to join the list of volunteers, reach out to email@example.com.
Wegmans just opened in Chapel Hill and they have quite the Kosher-for-Passover spread. If you are able, give them some business this year so they will be sure to continue such a great Kosher offering. Wegmans also has locations in Raleigh and Cary. Additional grocery stores that carry Passover goods are the Durham Co-op Market, Publix, Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods. Different stores will carry different items, so check with your local store for availability.
We encourage everyone to add a clementine to their Seder plate this year, if it’s not already your tradition. (Our Passover boxes will contain one.) Read the explanation below:
Passover Service Schedule:
Sunday, March 28, 10:00 am: Pesach I Services on Zoom
Monday, March 29, 10:00 am: Pesach II Services/Teaching by Rabbi Sager on Zoom (Office Closed)
Saturday, April 3, 10:00 am: Shabbat/Pesach VII Services on Zoom
Sunday, April 4, 10:00 am: Pesach VIII Service (Yizkor at 11:00 am) on Zoom