Passover and Easter will be different this year, but locals are keeping the faith

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Easter is Sunday. Passover begins Wednesday at sundown.

It’s one of the most sacred times of the year for many, and now it’s also one of the scariest.

Yet preparations are underway to feed people — both physically and religiously.

The Cupboard touts itself as Florida’s largest Kosher pantry, and director Lu Fiegler says the Davie facility us helping more people now than ever before.

“People are losing their jobs,” she said. “There’s hunger out there, and our agency is prepared to serve.”

They’re preparing special Passover meals, many for first-time clients. It’s food that Fiegler says can be much more expensive and harder to come by, even outside of a pandemic.

“You have to hope and pray that we’re going to get through this,” said retired rabbi Alvin Berkun.

Berkun is the former rabbi emeritus of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Had it not been for his late wife being ill and asking him to stay home, he said he would have been inside that synagogue where 11 people were shot and killed in October 2018.

His wife died last May.

It’s been a tough few years, but Passover is about resilience.

“Jews have observed Passover in Auschwitz, they’ve observed Passover during the inquisition 500 years ago, and it’s something that we do because it’s part of who we are and it’s part of our tradition,” Berkun said.

Berkun now lives in Vi at Aventura, a senior living facility where 98% of the residents are Jewish.

Passover will be quite different for them this year, separated from their loved ones. Berkun will be leading a virtual seder Wednesday evening that will air on the community’s in-house TV channel.

Many churches and synagogues have their own services planned to stream online as well.

“We’ve had tragedy before,” Berkun said. “Keep the faith, brother, sister.”

LIST: Worship services live streaming amid the coronavirus pandemic

About the Author: