Virtual reach out by Jewish Care during Passover

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Whilst this Passover was very different for all of us this year, Jewish Care, the largest health and social care organisation for the Jewish community in the UK, have done everything they can to ensure that residents, independent living tenants and isolated members of Jewish Care’s community centres can celebrate Pesach this year by attending a traditional Passover Seder meal, all be it a virtual one.

A Seder is a festive meal that Jewish people traditionally have as the festival of Passover commences and includes reading, drinking wine, telling stories, eating special foods, singing, and other Passover traditions.  It is the obligation according to the Jewish religion, for the Jews to retell the story of the exodus from Egyptian slavery more than 3000 years ago. This year, the first two nights of Passover fell on April 8th and 9th, 2020 and the festival ended on April 16.

This year, the care organisation has created a bespoke place on their website so that care home staff can play a virtual Seder for residents across the organisation’s ten care homes so that they can watch it before the festival begins, enabling them to participate in a Seder.

The link was also shared with tenants at Jewish Care’s independent living apartments and will be available for the whole community online. It is accompanied by a condensed book telling the story of the Exodus, which is known as a ‘Haggadah’. This includes traditional songs in Hebrew, transliteration and English. There is also a Montessori Haggadah for residents to read out to tell the Passover story.

Previously, volunteers from across the community have visited Jewish Care homes to lead Seders on each floor of the home, to ensure that all the residents can celebrate Pesach. School children have also previously visited the residents to sing.

This year, children from schools across the community sent e-cards that were printed and given out to residents before Pesach.

Individual Seder plates and meals will be available for Jewish Care’s Independent Living tenants across London and the South East. Kosher for Pesach, frozen meals will be delivered to the growing numbers of people who need them this year in the community from Redbridge to Stanmore and Stepney to Southend. They will be delivered by Jewish Care’s Meals on Wheels delivery drivers before Pesach.

In Jewish Care homes, redeployed Jewish Care staff continue to assist carers to set up Skype and video calls with residents to keep in touch with their relatives on iPads.

Daniel Carmel-Brown, Jewish Care Chief Executive, who joined the virtual Seder, said, “We know Pesach will be very different for us all so it is even more important that we enable our residents and tenants to celebrate the festival as fully as we can. Being able to participate in a Seder is what makes Jewish Care special so we are pleased to share the virtual Seders in our homes and with the community.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to all of the school children and members of the community who are sending their thoughts, good wishes and songs to our residents and everyone in the Jewish Care community. Whilst we are not able to be together physically this year, we are reaching out and connecting with each other spiritually and emotionally as one community this Passover.”

You can watch and follow the Virtual Seder and find the Haggadahs and Pesach songs here https://www.jewishcare.org/pesach-2020-online-resources

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