Passover

Kosher supermarkets hate cleaning for Passover as much as you do

An illustrative photo of a shopper at a grocery store picking up a box of matzah. (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Pomegranate, a gourmet kosher supermarket in Brooklyn, spends $75,000 every year getting its kitchen ready for Passover. Hungarian Kosher Foods, a supermarket in Chicago, starts clearing its aisles for Passover eight weeks ahead of the holiday. The week before Passover, at Zabar’s, a Jewish favorite… Read more »

Dark chocolate espresso truffles are vegan — and kosher for Passover

Most of us need few excuses to make a batch of chocolate truffles, especially when coffee is involved. My take on chocolate espresso truffles combines a velvety chocolate base with just enough espresso flavor to give you your caffeine fix. The fact that this version is vegan, kosher for… Read more »

Here’s a Passover menu that’s low on calories and carbs

I’m a big fan of whole grains, but they can easily become heavy — even the healthy ones. I’m offering a lighter, lower calorie and lower carbohydrate option for Passover meals this year. I love cauliflower as a stand-in for potatoes and rice. Not only is it delicious, it’s… Read more »

Why this cherished, home-based holiday is about a lot more than good food

A scene from Exodus

What is the essence of Passover? On the one hand, it seems obvious: Passover is about gathering together with loved ones to recall, through sumptuous home rituals, the exodus from Egypt. We gather round our seder tables and quickly become engulfed in the warmth of family and friends, the… Read more »

Why matzah is a non-Jewish staple in the Netherlands

A shopper browses for matzah at the Amsterdam Noord branch of the Jumbo supermarket chain, March 17, 2018. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

ENSCHEDE, Netherlands (JTA) — For most matzah bakeries, Passover is their lifeline and only claim to financial viability. After the weeklong holiday, during which Jews are commanded to consume matzah to commemorate their ancestors’ hurried flight out of Egypt, demand for the famously tasteless cracker drops sharply. Except, that is,… Read more »

A tour guide uncovers Passover secrets in the Met Museum’s Egyptian wing

Nachliel Selavan giving a tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (Debra Nussbaum Cohen)

NEW YORK (JTA) — I have roamed the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian wing many times, marveling at sarcophagi, statues of Horus and Ra, and portraits of young men on ancient panels who gaze back at visitors, looking shockingly familiar and contemporary. But on a Sunday just before Passover,… Read more »

5 Haggadahs and other Passover supplements to modernize your seder this year

Even an 18th-century Haggadah from Switzerland like the one seen here could benefit from a link to the present. (Godong/UIG via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Although Jews have celebrated Passover by reading from the Haggadah in one form or another for 2,000 years, Jewish organizations and publishers strive each year to connect the holiday to modern times with fresh Haggadahs as well as supplements. If you’re looking to give your seder a… Read more »

A Spanish university’s first-ever Passover seder is being organized by American students

Fulbright scholars McCall Wells, left, and Danielle Elliott are organizing an interfaith seder at the Universidad Camilo José Sela in Villafranca del Castillo, Spain. (Melissa Marazas)

MADRID (JTA) — Every Passover, Danielle Elliott joins her parents in Chicago. She helps prepare haroset, delights in her mom’s elaborate Passover decorations and enjoys spending the holiday with her family. But this year Elliott will be recounting the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt several thousand miles… Read more »

9 things you didn’t know about Passover

(My Jewish Learning via JTA) — Here are nine things that many likely wouldn’t know about the Festival of Freedom: 1. In Gibraltar, there’s dust in the charoset. The traditional charoset is a sweet Passover paste whose texture is meant as a reminder of the mortar the enslaved Jews… Read more »

Remembering That Carp in My Grandparents’ Bathtub

(Kveller via JTA) — My grandmother was a super shopper even before the advent of supermarkets and coupons. In those days, each food group had its own store, so that every neighborhood had a butcher shop, fish market, dairy, deli and grocery. Shopping with Grandma was an all-day experience.… Read more »

How to survive political arguments during the first seder of the Trump era

Politics and seders don’t always mix well. (Lior Zaltzman)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — After Donald Trump won the presidential election, Sheila Katz wasn’t sure she wanted to come home for Thanksgiving. As the politically liberal member of a conservative family, she had been comfortable sparring with her relatives during the Obama administration. But as Thanksgiving approached, she found… Read more »

Seven new kids’ books for Passover, from seder guides to stories

  (JTA) — From the wizardry of Harry Potter that echoes with Passover’s themes to a cartoon frog who wisecracks his way through the seder, this year’s new crop of Passover books for kids offers something for all ages and interests. The selection of fresh reads, including two family-friendly… Read more »

The 5 (or so) habits of successful seder leaders

(Lior Zaltzman)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — What kind of leadership style works best for a seder? During a period when we are experiencing a shake-up in national leadership, you may want to re-examine the relationship that exists between leader and participants at the Passover meal. Though seder leaders and participants are… Read more »

Lawyers see Passover, immigration link

Fred Klein (right) with Lievin Niyongabo at the Tucson's International Rescue Committee office. An immigrant from Burundi, Niyongabo is an Americorps VISTA volunteer at the IRC and also works as a caregiver. He was a university student in Namibia when his family got permission to resettle in the United States and plans to resume his studies. (Courtesy Fred Klein)

Passover is the time of freedom. We eat matzah, the bread of affliction, we eat bitter herbs and dip karpas (vegetables) in salt water to recall our suffering and tears. We eat charoset, made with ground almonds, cinnamon and wine to recall the mortar used by Jewish slaves to… Read more »