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Important Times for Passover
Tuesday, April 14
Candle-lighting 7:16 pm
Wednesday, April 15
Candle-lighting 8:26 pm
Thursday, April 16
Havdalah to end Passover 8:18 pm
Eat at 8:30 pm


Holy Eternal One of Life and Love,
Let us balance our well being between your hands and ours.
May the warm water than runs over my hands, find its way through my fingers and nourish me just as the well of water that followed the people throughout the desert. May the soap that bubbles up from my palms make its way between my fingers, cover the tops of my hands and release the bacteria of fear from my body. May the act of rinsing away soap and water prepare me for the unknown, granting me strength to live with uncertainty. My life is in your hands. Hold me with kindness so I may open my hands to the world even as I keep distance between myself and my neighbor. Bless me with wisdom and good health. May I be safe. May I be gracious. May I be grateful. May I feel whole.
@Rabbi Lisa Gelber

Blessings for Lighting Candles

Blessing for Lighting Holiday Candles

בָּ רוְך אַ תָּ ה אֲ דֹנָּי אֱ ֹלהֵ ינו מֶׁ לְֶׁך הָּ עֹולָּם אֲ ׁשֶׁ ר קִ דְ ׁשָּ נו בְ מִ צְ ֹותָּ יו וְ צִ וָּנו לְהַ דְ לִיק נֵר ׁשל יֹום טֹוב
Barukh Atah Adonay Eloheynu Melekh ha-Olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik
ner shel Yom Tov.
Blessed are You Holy Gd who guides the world and raises us up in holiness through our
responsibility to light candles for the festival day.

בָּ רוְך אַ תָּ ה אֲ דֹנָּי אֱ ֹלהֵ ינו מֶׁ לְֶׁך הָּ עֹולָּם, ׁשֶׁ הֶׁ חֱ יָּנו וְ קִ יְמָּ נו וְ הִ גִ יעָּ נו לַזְ מָּ ן הַ זֶׁ ה
Barukh Atah Adonay Eloheynu Melekh ha-Olam sheheheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higianu laz'man
Blessed are You Holy Gd who guides the world and raises us up in life, granting us sustenance
and escorting us to this time.

Blessing for Lighting Third Holy Day Candle

Holy Eternal Gd of Life and Love,
On this night of Passover – Hag HaPesach - keep us safe in body and spirit. Watch over us as we
tell the story of our people and the story of today.
On this night of Telling – Hag HaMatzot – let us share our questions and search for responses.
May our stories prepare us for the journey ahead.
On this night of Freedom – Hag HaHerut – let us imagine liberation from fear and illness, masks
and gloves. Let the masters who hold our fate in their hands release us with wise practice and
expectations that make for safety.
On this night of Spring – Hag HaAviv – let us imagine a future where breath enlivens us and
beauty sustains us inside and out. May the signs of a new season bring us hope for change.
Let this flame illuminate our journey. May the song of our ancestors merge with the song of
today. May we be blessed with peace and well-being.
@Rabbi Lisa Gelber/5780

Yizkor -- Thursday, April 16, 10 am

Click here for Yizkor Booklet
Click here for Zoom meeting or copy and paste this into your browser:
Meeting ID: 470 186 820
Password: btogether
To connect by phone for audio-only:   
Dial 408-638-0968  -or-  646-558-8656
Enter the meeting ID number 470 186 820 followed by #
Enter your unique participant ID or press # 

Dial by your location
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 470 186 820
Password: 461564

Kabbalat Shabbat.​​​​- Friday, April 17, 6:30 pm

On Friday, April 17, we will gather online at 6:30 pm for Kabbalat Shabbat.
It is important for us to be together on screen as a community so we may say Mourner's Kaddish.
If you'd like to download the prayerbook,  click here for the registration form  (which will lead you to the download).

Click here to join the Habonim community for services through Zoom 
or copy this into your browser:
Meeting ID: 273 476 715
Password: btogether
To connect by phone for audio-only:   
Dial 408-638-0968  -or-  646-558-8656
Enter the meeting ID number 273 476 715 followed by #
Enter your unique participant ID or press # 
Dial by your location
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 273 476 715
Password: 326514


During this extraordinary and challenging time, the Rabbinical Assembly offers alternative options for Passover preparations and observance that fit within reasonable interpretation of Jewish Law, and the unprecedented time in which we are living.

This year most of us have been instructed (or mandated) to remain home. This presents significant challenges to both the traditions of family and large seders, and communal seders as well. We feel that as a matter of Jewish law (which certainly includes public health concerns instituted by civic and medical authorities) these directives should be maintained. We don’t take this decision lightly, as we are very aware of how emotionally significant Seder can be with family members and special friends and with as many people as possible at the physical table. God willing, these private small immediate family & individual seders will not be necessary in the future. But they are necessary this year, so please stay home.

A few tips to keep in mind when purchasing food for the seder:

Matzah - One is obligated to avoid hametz throughout Passover, but the obligation to eat matzah is limited to fulfilling the rituals of the first/second night seder alone. Therefore, communities should ensure that each home has at least enough matzah for each person to fulfill the obligation of אכילת מצה, eating matzah, for [each] seder. Think, basically, about one piece of matzah per person, per seder.

Karpas - Can be any vegetable. [In Israel, boiled potato is a common food for karpas]

Maror - If horseradish is not available, people are encouraged to find other vegetables or fruits that can bring a tear to the eye if consumed raw: hot peppers, fresh ginger, mustard greens, raw lemon. In Israel, romaine lettuce is commonly used as maror.

Egg and Roasted Shankbone on Seder Plate -- A roasted beet and rice (if consuming kitniyot) in place of the shankbone and egg.(Pesahim 114b)


This may be one area in which not much has to change, for many households. The directions are laid out in the CJLS Pesah Guide. Cleaning this year may actually be a bit more difficult as many of us have been in our homes living differently than normal. But the general rule is, places must be well-searched and specifically cleaned for hametz only if it’s a place for which and in which hametz is normally consumed and cooked. Furthermore, the prohibition of owning & seeing hametz applies specifically to amounts of pure hametz that is at least the size of an olive (k’zayyit). This is your yearly reminder that dirt is not hametz.

Cleaning/Kashering for elderly/infirm:

In these households, if there is an already living-in-home caretaker in place, cleaning and kashering should be carried out, to the extent possible, according to the guidelines which apply to all. In a household where there is no able-bodied caretaker in place, the residents of the household should do their best to remove hametz from every surface that will be used for the preparation or consumption of foods during Passover. These surfaces should be wiped down with all-purpose cleaning materials. If possible, refrigerator shelves should also be wiped down. If the oven will be used during Passover, the walls of the oven should be wiped down and aluminum foil placed between the rack and the baking dish.

For homes in which vessels will not be able to be kashered in the normative manner (due to physical capability or general concerns of danger with heating elements), we recommend designating a few cooking vessels to be used for passover cooking before and during the holiday, to clean them well, and let them sit for 24 hours (or at least overnight). So long as they don’t have visible foodstuff caked on, they are acceptable for preparing Passover food. This technique can also be used for cutlery and non-porous dishes as well.

Purchasing of Food:

Hierarchy of purchasing: While the CJLS formally permitted Ashkenazim (who choose) to consume kitniyot in 2015, due to the unprecedented disruptions in the food supply, the CJLS encourages everyone to consider putting aside the Ashkenazic custom of eschewing legumes (beans and lentils) corn and rice, if only for Passover 5780 (2020).

Below are guidelines for following “best practice” under trying circumstances:

It is important to note that many products that are plain, unflavored dairy products (like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and hard cheeses), frozen fruits and vegetables, packaged legumes, and rice can be purchased with a year-round hekhsher before Passover as a matter of course. This is not latitude granted during difficult circumstances, this is normative halakhah. It is only if they are purchased during Passover itself that many of these items need to carry a Kosher for Passover certification.

In general, we tend to be strict on our Passover lists due to the overall complexity of certifying individual items. This year we have simply relied on our current knowledge to lessen the burden we are all feeling, while still being within the normative constructs of Passover Kashrut.

This year, due to the limitations on product availability and in order to limit individuals having to check multiple stores, if you are unable to find an item below with a Kosher for Passover certification due to COVID-19 then here's what you can do.

Food requiring no Kosher for Passover certification no matter when purchased:

  1. Baking soda
  2. Pure bicarbonate of soda, without additives
  3. Eggs
  4. Fresh fruits and vegetables (including pre-washed bagged)
  5. Fresh or frozen kosher meat (other than chopped meat)
  6. Nestea (regular and decaffeinated)
  7. Pure black, green, or white tea leaves
  8. Unflavored tea bags
  9. Unflavored regular coffee
  10. Olive oils (and other pure oils)
  11. Whole or gutted fresh kosher fish
  12. Whole or half pecans (not pieces)
  13. Whole (unground) spices and nuts
  14. OU/Star-K Raisins
  15. Kosher wine
  16. Plain butter, either salted or unsalted

The following list of basic foods is ideally for pre-Passover purchasing food, but could extend, if determined necessary based on food supply shortages, and their likely production before Passover began, to purchase on Hol-HaMoed as well.

  1. all pure fruit juices
  2. Filleted fish
  3. Frozen fruit (no additives)
  4. Plain cheeses (without added flavor morsels)
  5. Non-iodized salt
  6. Pure white sugar (no additives)
  7. Quinoa (with nothing mixed in)* GF ideal
  8. White milk
  9. Some products sold by Equal Exchange Fair Trade Chocolate
  10. Frozen Vegetables (needs to be checked for possible hametz before cooking)
  11. Chopped meat
  12. Plain, non-flavored almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk.
  13. Non-flavored Cream Cheese with ingredients of milk and cream, salt, stabilizers (xanthan and/or carob bean and/or guar gums)
  14. Non-flavored Yogurt with milk and bacteria, only (which are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermopiles).
  15. Canned Tuna with just tuna, water or oil, salt, and pyrophosphates
  16. 100% maple syrup
  17. 100% Agave
  18. Ground Salt and Peppers
  19. Plain (non-Flavored) Decaf Coffee
  20. Pure Honey
  21. Dried fruit, prunes only without potassium sorbate


Fresh kitniyot: Corn on the cob and fresh beans (like lima beans in their pods) may be purchased before and during Passover, that is, treated like any other fresh vegetable.

Dried kitniyot (legumes, rice and corn) can be purchased bagged or in boxes and then sifted or sorted before or on Passover. These should ideally not be purchased in bulk from bins because of the concern that the bin might previously have been used for hameitz, and a few grains of hameitz might be mixed in. In any case, one should inspect these to the extent possible before Passover and discard any pieces of hametz. If one could not inspect the rice or dried beans before Passover, one should remove pieces of hametz found in the package on Passover, discarding those, and the kitniyot themselves remain permissible.

Frozen raw kitniyot (corn, edamame [soy beans], etc.): One may purchase bags of frozen non-hekhshered kitniyot before or during (if necessary) Passover provided that one can either absolutely determine that no shared equipment was used or one is careful to inspect the contents before Passover) and discard any pieces of חמץ hameitz). Even if one did not inspect the vegetables before Passover, if one can remove pieces of (hameitz) found in the package on Passover, the vegetables themselves are permissible.

Requires Kosher for Passover label at any time:

  1. All baked goods
  2. Farfel
  3. Matzah
  4. Any product containing matzah
  5. Matzah flour
  6. Matzah meal
  7. Pesah cakes
  8. All frozen processed foods
  9. Candy
  10. Chocolate milk
  11. Herbal tea
  12. Ice cream
  13. Liquor
  14. Soda
  15. Vinegar
  16. Margarine

Another way to potentially find acceptable foods without a specific Kosher for Passover designation during pre-Passover shopping, when the situation demands, is to prefer certified Gluten Free (and oat free) products.

Lastly, many of us have already opened products in our homes that are Hametz-free, but used in the course of normal year-round cooking. If one is able to ascertain/highly assume that no hametz contaminated the opened product, or at best a negligible amount, it is possible to use such products during Passover this year.

For those who would like to read the full Passover guide for usual times:

Sat, September 30 2023 15 Tishrei 5784