As you plan your Passover celebration this year, are you finding ways to include loved ones who will be celebrating in other households?
So many of us will be marking the holiday alone or in smaller groups. Our staff has been talking about our own plans, in virtual meetings and text chats while we work from home and – like many of you – try to stay connected to colleagues, family, and friends.

One of the great things about Passover is that it is so adaptable – we ritually retell the Exodus story in the context of the world events unfolding around us. During World War II, the ancient Israelites’ liberation from bondage took on new significance for US soldiers witnessing the suffering of Europe’s Jewish communities. Far from home, many of these young soldiers attended Seders that were very different from the ones they’d grown up with. Learn more about their stories below and tell your own!

We are experiencing something extraordinary – hoping to save lives through social isolation from our loved ones, and finding creative ways to link family and friends through technology. In the middle of all this, let’s also remember the first responders, medical personnel, truck drivers, soldiers, and so many others who are serving away from home this spring. 

From our NMAJH Family to yours, zei gezunt ("be healthy")!

From the Collection: Military Seders Near and Far, 1940s
Photograph from a Seder in Liège, Belgium, 1945
National Museum of American Jewish History, 2012.4.1
Gift of the Feinberg/ Berg family in memory of Sidney Feinberg
While serving in Belgium during the months before the Battle of the Bulge, Sidney Feinberg walked four miles every week to attend services in a Liège synagogue. When the US Army asked the local French/Yiddish-speaking rabbi to conduct a Seder for enlisted military personnel in a requisitioned skating rink, the rabbi asked Feinberg and a fellow soldier to stand with him and translate his words into English. Thousands of American men and women participated.
Photograph of George Halpern with his Seder hosts, 1943
National Museum of American Jewish History, 2011.102.80
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. George M. Halpern 
Soldiers who were overseas in areas where there were few other Jewish soldiers sometimes observed holidays with local families. In 1943 George Halpern was stationed in Australia – a world away from his parents, but he sent this photograph home to his family, telling them about the “swell” Melbourne couple the USO had put him in contact with for Passover.
Creative ideas for
your solo or small Passover Seder
The staff at My Jewish Learning put together a
list of suggestions and resources on how to add
meaning to your Seder in the time of social-distancing,
Join us online for the 8th Annual Freedom Seder Revisited
April 6, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Our favorite annual event is going virtual!
For details:
You'll get to know a new and inspiring lineup of storytellers and performers who will offer their take on the meaning of freedom in America today. This event is FREE, donations are encouraged and appreciated!
NMAJH facade with statue of Religious Liberty in front
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