Pesach mutual aid, care packages for solitary seders!

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Pesach mutual aid, care packages for solitary seders!

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When we went into lockdown in Naarm (Melbourne), many Jewish people realised this meant doing their seders solo or over zoom. Restrictions on number of guests meant that a seder with the family wasn't possible. Whilst at most seders you would usually have multiple people who had divided the seder night responsibilities (someone on charoset, matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, kosher wine, boiled eggs and each item for the seder plate), this night was different from all other nights. Our seders suddenly felt bare with the looming responsibility to create an entire seder's worth of food, for one.
For those of us who lived away from our families and the bagel belt, there were additional challenges. For the queer jews who left their south-eastern homes for the cramped share houses of the inner north, finding Kosher and seder specific ingredients was near impossible at our local Piedemontes. I called my closest Woolworths and asked if they had ingredients for passover, "You could try the international food aisle?" they suggested, I knew that wouldn't suffice. I was grieving the loss of my most important cultural holiday of the year and the foods that came with it, when I decided I would drive to Southside, and collect ingredients from there. Knowing it would be useless to cook for one (and that I still haven't learnt the skills to do so) I decided to buy enough that I could make up care packages for other Jewish people doing their seders alone. The buba of the northside, giving just enough of everything for a table of one. 3 matzah balls, a jar of broth, enough matzah to break, hide and dip in charoset, etc. Other Jewish people contributed ingredients or made gefilte fish to distribute too. I managed to distribute over 25 packages to people joining their seders via zoom. For me, it was such an important way for me to feel connected to community despite distance, and honour pesach at a challenging time.

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This item was submitted on January 29, 2021 by Elsa Tuet-Rosenberg using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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