Great Adventure: How an amusement park goes Orthodox for Passover

Six Flags Great Adventure, an amusement park in New Jersey, on Passover becomes the site of an annual Orthodox Jewish pilgrimage. (Uriel Heilman)

JACKSON, N.J. (JTA) – Pinchas Cohen spent most of Monday wandering around Six Flags Great Adventure under a blazing sun, wearing a knee-length black coat and carrying a big box of shmura matzah under his arm. An imposing, Russian-born Chabad-Lubavitch Hasid who now lives in Brooklyn, Cohen came to… Read more »

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie for Passover

  After seeking in vain for a holiday menu that inspired her and was healthy for her family, Kenden Alfond, founder of the Jewish Food Hero blog, created one instead.  “The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant­Based Recipes for Your Holiday Meals”  is organized around the 10 major Jewish holidays. This Passover version of shepherd’s pie… Read more »

Rabbis expand the Passover menu — but will Conservative Jews bite?

Corn (Pixabay Commons)

ROCKVILLE, Md. — On Passover, Lynne Sandler will be passing on the beans and rice. Sandler, a member of Conservative Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia, said she won’t take advantage of her movement’s ruling in November that permits eating a category of food called kitniyot that includes rice, beans… Read more »

Passover books for one kid — or many

(JTA) — Afikomen hunts, a rambunctious pup and the catchy classic “Dayenu.” All are featured in a half-dozen new Passover books for children that will inform and entertain even the littlest kid — or a whole herd of ’em. The eight-day holiday kicks off this year on the evening of… Read more »

Op-Ed: At Passover time, remember those struggling with infertility

Amy Klein: A strong support system is vital for those going through infertility, IVF, miscarriage, egg freezing, surrogacy and adoption. (Michal Solomon)

(JTA) — I recently attended the bris of my friend’s son and it was the first such occasion at which I was not crying tears of sadness for myself. Two years ago I was at her older son’s bris, and I remember pretending my copious tears were of joy. In reality, all I could think was:… Read more »

Seder2015 brings Passover into the digital age

Participants at one of Michael Hebb's "test" seders use the resources from (Scott Macklin)

An appreciation for classics and architecture does not necessarily foster interest in the Passover seder. However, those interests are what have led Michael Hebb, a former restaurateur and the founder of meal-related projects such as Death Over Dinner and Drugs Over Dinner, to adapt Passover to the digital age.… Read more »

Around the seder table: from generation to generation

(Jewish Exponent) — On seder night, many of us will return home. Maybe not home to the house in which we grew up, but home to our extended family or to our family of choice. We will come back once again to the same scene — the familiar aroma… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: Celebrate Passover in your heart and soul

Rabbi Robert Eisen

The holiday of Passover that many of us are eagerly anticipating is known by many names, each of which reflects a different dimension of what we will be celebrating. While we are usually more concerned with who may or may not be present at our seder table (finding the… Read more »

Girl power heralded for innovative, inclusive 2015 seder

Whether you weave in one, a few, or all 10 of these tips, consider honoring the matriarchal roots of Judaism this Passover with a little girl power fun at your seder.   Add an orange and coffee bean to your seder plate. The orange represents both inclusion and solidarity… Read more »

PASSOVER FEATURE At Streit’s 90-year-old Lower East Side factory, ‘the men’ turn out their last matzah batch

Baked matzah coming out of the oven at the Streit's factory on Manhattan's Lower East Side, date unknown. (Courtesy of Streit's Matzos)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Seated in his Lower East Side office, in front of a large portrait of company patriarch Aron Streit, Alan Adler avoids becoming too nostalgic. “It’s like I tell my family members: none of you own a car from 1935, why do you think a matzah… Read more »

Crunching the childhood lessons of Passover

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — What did I really learn at the seder table? That is, besides discovering that the white horseradish was way hotter than the red and that my very worldly uncles couldn’t read a word of Hebrew. It’s a question worth considering as we invite new generations… Read more »

Passover children’s books: choo-choos, baa-baas and back to Sinai

Twins return to the Egyptian desert in Kimmel's time travel adventure "Scarlet and Sam." (Courtesy of Kar-Ben Publishing)

BOSTON (JTA) — When Deborah Bodin Cohen immersed herself in rabbinical school in the early 1990s, she expected to spend a year in Israel as part of her studies with Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. What she didn’t know was that a decade later, the experience of living… Read more »

Film chronicles venerable Streit’s matzah factory in NY

In a photo from the late 1940s, Rabbi Osher Levitan (right) supervises production of Passover matzah at the Streit’s matzah factory on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

For the past year, filmmaker Michael Levine and producer Michael Green have been documenting the story of the last family- owned matzah factory in America, the Streit’s matzah factory on New York’s historic Lower East Side. The result is “Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream” , a feature length… Read more »

Jews (and non-Jews) with health concerns find the Passover aisle liberating

More gluten-free products are available at Passover, and an array of blogs offers recipes on how to use them. (Hillel Kuttler)

BALTIMORE (JTA) – Grasping a jar of jam in the Passover aisle of a large supermarket here, Kevin Brinson turned to a stranger and asked, “Do you know when Passover ends this year?” Brinson isn’t dreading the holiday to the extent that two weeks before its start, he’s already… Read more »

From Alsatian town, France’s oldest matzah-maker sells to the world

The Etablissements Rene Neymann matzah factory is located in the Alsatian city of Wasselonne. (Courtesy of Etablissements Rene Neymann)

(JTA) — For most Jews, matzah season comes once a year. But for Jean-Claude Neymann, matzah, or “pain azyme” in French, is a defining family tradition. Neymann runs the oldest matzah bakery in France, located in the town of Wasselonne near the German border. The family company, Etablissements Rene… Read more »