YOUNGSTOWN — For the first time in its history, Congregation Rodef Sholom in Youngstown will host a community-wide virtual Passover Seder that will be broadcast live at 6 p.m. Wednesday via Zoom.
Rabbi Frank Muller said the temple broadcast its first virtual service on March 27, which will continue for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Mike DeWine.
“We have always come together for a Passover Seder at the temple but because of the coronavirus outbreak we will not be able to do it the way we usually do each year here. This will be the first time in 150 years we will be doing it this way,” he said.
Muller said families are being asked to prepare their own food for the Seder meal at home or they can order a Passover dinner from Inspired Catering by Kravitz Deli in Liberty.
“They can watch all the Seder rituals online while enjoying the Passover meal at their home. They will be able to participate virtually from their homes where they can read a prayer and speak and everyone can hear them. We will be together in a different way this year. This is our way to be safe while wanting to make this meaningful,” he said.
Muller said the temple has found this is the best way to bring people together while staying the required 6 feet apart and complying with the order banning large public gatherings.
Muller said a main part of the Passover Seder is the Haggadah, which is the text that will be recited at the Seder on the first two nights of the Jewish Passover, including a narrative of the Exodus.
Reading the Haggadah at the Seder table is a fulfillment of the mitzvah to each Jew to tell of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt as described in the Book of Exodus.
He said just as there were the 10 plagues in Egypt, the current situation with the coronavirus could be considered like a plaque today.
“We are all dealing with the coronavirus the best way we can and are doing what we can to continue Passover Seder being together in the only way possible,” he said.
Information on accessing Zoom are on the temple website http://www.congregationrodefsholom.org.
For those who will not be able to prepare their own food at home, they may order from Kravitz Deli, 3135 Belmont Ave. in Liberty. For preorders, call 330-881-8081 by Sunday with curbside pickup and local delivery available between noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday,
Jack Kravitz, president of Kravitz Delicatessen and Inspired Catering by Kravitz, said most of the items for the Seder meal will not be strictly kosher meat, but also vegetarian and meatless options, with servings providing enough for two days worth of seders.
In addition, the meal also will include copies of the Haggadah text setting forth the ceremonial order of the Seder.
He said the deli wants to be able to offer the same quality celebration meals traditionally offered at the community seders while observing social distancing.
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