NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The Passover meal is typically one that brings together generations of extended families, but that won't be possible this year because of the deadly coronavirus.
Now, the UJA-Federation of New York is stepping in to fill the void, delivering more than 8,500 free Passover seder meals and kits to families and individuals in New York who are isolated, financially vulnerable, or previously have relied on free or subsidized communal seders.
"So many are isolated. A lot are elderly who for the first time in their lives are literally having a Passover Seder by themselves," said CEO Eric Goldstein.
The packages include stuffed cabbage, chicken matzah ball soup, chicken with potatoes and carrot tzimis, macaroons, matzah, and grape juice.
Goldstein wants people to know that they are not forgotten.
"They may feel alone, but these meals are there to say, 'You're not alone,'" Goldstein said.
The lessons of the seder meal are timely.
"The first Passover Seder, the very first, was at a time where there were plagues literally happening in the world," Goldstein said, adding that the parallels of the holiday and our current condition are hard to ignore. "The whole story of Passover is a story from affliction, anxiety, to freedom and redemption."
The group has also put together a list of Passover resources including virtual seders and ritual content.