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COVID-19 forces Jewish community celebrate Passover through social media

Rabbi Barry Silver said for now the pandemic has changed everything when it comes to teaching in the synagogue.
Posted at 9:44 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 00:09:24-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.  — The seriousness of COVID-19 and its deadly consequences has changed one of the most sacred times of the year. Wednesday night is the beginning of Passover and this year virtual gathering is now a reality.

Danielle Hartman is celebrating Passover with her kids and family. Typically, she would have a room full of loved ones. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Passover is like no other ever seen.

"Under the current circumstances people have had to completely change how they do their seder, how we interact with each other," she said.

Hartman is the president of Ruth & Norman Jewish Family Services. She said there are 240,000 Jewish families in all of Palm Beach County. Typically, her agency would have a seder or meal for seniors but this year they had to bring it to them. She said her organization informed them about using social media to connect.

"We miss our friends and we miss our family. So it's wonderful that they have platforms like Zoom or Skype or these online platforms but it's not the same," she said.

Rabbi Barry Silver said for now the pandemic has changed everything when it comes to teaching in the synagogue.

"It's completely radically different, we're doing Zoom, we're doing social media, we're communicating in many, many different ways," he said.

Hartman says Passover is about gathering and sharing but under the current circumstances, it has caused a lot of people to not be with their loved one this time of year.