Community

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 factory from 1935 is what we should be using today?” says Adler, one of Streit’s Matzos’ 11 co-owners.

This is the line of thought behind the imminent closing of Streit’s matzah factory, a longtime Jewish fixture in a city neighborhood that once was home to one of the highest concentration of Jews in the country.

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 of participants to sit down at our Seder tables.

Today we have a whole Haggadah of apps, texts and websites that help us drain every last drop of meaning out of our yearly dinners remembering the going-out from Egypt. But in the midst of all this learning, have we somehow taken for granted the childhood lessons simmered into our meal built with a set order?

DNEPROPETROVSK, Ukraine (JTA) – With one eye on a digital countdown timer, Binyamin Vestrikov jumps up and down while slamming a heavy rolling pin into a piece of dough.

Aware of his comical appearance to the journalist watching, he exaggerates his movements to draw laughs from a dozen colleagues at the kneading station of Tiferet Hamatzot – a factory believed to be Europe’s only permanently open bakery for handmade matzah, oshmurah matzah.

But Vestrikov’s urgency is not just for entertainment.

Passover, one of the most celebrated holidays, is upon us.   It is the time to hear the story of how the Israelites were freed in ancient Egypt.  And time for the ritual feast – a feast shared with family, friends and community. There are several options available if you want to attend a community Seder.

Every year families all over the world unite to enjoy the Seder. While calling all members of the family together may feel like the gathering of the exiles, it is the laughter and discussion held around the table that all will remember for years to come. Many households are made up of a range of personalities reminiscent of the four sons we discuss during the Seder. Placating them may, at times, feel like a balancing act. This Passover, the Golan Heights Winery presents fun recommendations for wines to fit each type, so that the differing personalities do not create a havoc worse than the 10 plagues.