Chabad brings joy of Passover holiday to students

Through the multi-pronged approach of Chabad, nearly 300 Elon students, alumni and staff were able to celebrate the Passover holiday.

The past year has been challenging for all in many ways.

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the U.S just  before the Jewish holiday of Passover, when Jews gather with their family to tell the story of Passover and celebrate the freedom from slavery in Egypt. While some students were able to go home safely to their families this year, many were not able to. Chabad at Elon set out to ensure that all students would be able to safely celebrate and enjoy Passover while being away from home.

Following COVID-19 safety protocols, Chabad hosted approximately 60 students over two nights with two public seders in the backyard of their home in Elon.

The Passover Seders featured the traditional reading of the Haggadah, four cups of wine or grape juice, songs, and a four-course dinner; including home-made kosher brisket.

Jack Knuettel ‘22 attended the first Seder at Chabad and shared, “It was a lot of fun. The Rabbi did a good job of following the COVID-19 guidelines while also having a true Passover Seder. It was a very nice distraction.”

Rabbi Mendy Minkowitz also expressed how satisfied he was with the event. “Students had a great time at the Seders and it truly felt like one big family, singing, laughing, and eating together,” Minkowitz said. “Several students have approached us since then, sharing just how much they enjoyed, and despite COVID-19 and the stress surrounding it, they were able to relax and truly be in the moment.”

Beyond hosting in-person Seders, Chabad also made sure that students who were celebrating Passover elsewhere or were in quarantine at the time were also taken care of.

In addition to distributing Matzah to students, faculty and staff in and around Elon, Chabad shipped over 200 handmade Shmurah Matzah packs and Seder kits to students, alumni and families around the country ahead of Passover. Hana Hofeld ‘22 celebrated with her family off campus with the help of Chabad and says, “Rabbi Mendy provided me with a Passover To-Go kit. His giving me Matzah and Haggadahs allowed my family and I to still have a Seder even though we weren’t home!”

Noah Jordan ‘22 who wanted to celebrate the Seders on his own, also felt grateful for receiving the necessary resources, “Chabad Elon helped me celebrate Passover by delivering me a beautiful Seder Kit right to my door. I am very thankful that they provided me with the resources needed to celebrate.

All in all, through the multi-pronged approach of Chabad, nearly 300 Elon students, alumni and staff were able to celebrate the Passover holiday.