NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Jews around the world and across the Tri-State Area have begun the preparations for Passover, which begins on Monday evening.
But as CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported Thursday, many are in need of extra help to put on the traditional Seder feast.
At Masbia Soup Kitchen in Flatbush, the line was out the door as those in need picked up Passover essentials like matzo and kosher wine. The soup kitchen also stocked other holiday necessities, like apples, nuts and potatoes, Hsu reported.
Debby Miller has been out of work for several years and said the donated food means everything.
“It makes the holiday to be able to make a kiddish, which is the prayer over the wine or the grape juice, and to be able to have matzo,” Miller told Hsu.
Passover is an eight-day holiday to celebrate the freedom of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.
Shmuel Ben Eliezer is now a volunteer at Masbia after needing help from the group in the past.
“Passover is a special time when people are with family and everything. Not everybody has family, so this is a way to share with the community as well, so everybody can have something,” he told Hsu.
Alexander Rapaport is the executive director of Masbia and said while many say the economy is bouncing back, the numbers he’s seeing tell a different story.
“We are doing now four times the amount of packages we did last year this month,” Rapaport told Hsu.
Rapaport said donations and volunteers make it possible to keep on going.
Sarah Kassin is in high school and has been volunteering at the soup kitchen for years. She said it’s her way of giving back to her community and those less fortunate.
“Just by noticing it but not helping doesn’t really do much for me. The fact that I can actually help and make a difference really, it makes me feel better for everybody,” Kassin told Hsu.
She said Passover is a time for family and thinking of your neighbors.
The Seder, usually held on the first night or the first two nights, involves the reenactment of the Exodus through traditional food items, as well as the recitation of stories and songs.
Passover begins at sunset on Monday and ends eight days later, on April 2.
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