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COVID-19 Changes Passover for Many Ohioans

Akron's Revere Road Synagogue distributed "Seder to go" kits to its congregation to help people celebrate Passover at home.
Akron's Revere Road Synagogue distributed "Seder to go" kits to its congregation to help people celebrate Passover at home.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended daily life. It’s changed how we interact with co-workers, family and friends. And for many in the Jewish community, it’s meant changes for celebrating Passover this year.

The beginning of Passover is marked by a Seder, or traditional feast.

For most Jews, this is a time of community to share in traditions. But self-isolation means many are having to adapt.

Rabbi Elyssa Austerklein, of Beth El Congregation in Akron, said many will hold Seders by videoconference.

"I've spoken with a lot of congregants who are having Zoom Seders with relatives who live across the country who they usually don’t have Seder with," Austerklein said. 

Akron's Revere Road Synagogue is making care packages for its congregants.

"This year we’ve been offering something called the 'Seder-to-go.' They can sign up online, and we prepare a little package for them with all the traditional foods we eat," Rabbi Moshe Sasonkin said. He also leads  Chabad of Akron/Canton

While many will use FaceTime or Skype to hold Seders with loved ones, Sasonkin said many in his congregation will practice traditional Judaism and go without technology for their Seders.

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