NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With Passover beginning a sundown tonight, Jews across the world will be sitting down with friends and family for seder dinners – and this year a social media hashtag is helping feed those in need at the same time.
Many will be taking the “Matzah Challenge.”
Boxes of matzah have been flying off the shelves at the Kosher Marketplace on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
“We go through about 4-5,000 boxes of matzah during a Passover season,” said one of the employees. “Matzah has truly changed over the last couple of years.”
And what has also changed is the clientele, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported. It’s not just adults preparing for Passover, it’s kids who are shopping and getting ready to eat plenty of matzah.
“I don’t put anything on it. I just eat it straight,” said 12-year-old Shaye Kirmin.
The UJA-Federation of New York is helping them get even more involved by starting up the social media campaign #MatzahChallenge.
That means posting pictures of matzah however you like them: From lox and cream cheese to chocolate cover raspberries.
The Federation says for every picture posted from March 30 to April 7 with the hashtag and a tag to a friend to participate, an anonymous donor will give $18 to their organization. The money will then be distributed to more than 100 non-profits worldwide.
“Eighteen dollars is a symbolic number in Judaism and it means life,” said UJA-Federation of New York Social Media Marketing Manger Molly Lukash. She says the UJA started this to encourage younger generations to learn about their heritage.
“Matzah is obviously on the mind and it’s to engage the younger, social media savvy Gen Z, Millennial generation and anyone else,” Lukash said.
Someone who falls in that category is Nick Faber.
“I live in a place that doesn’t have a lot of Jewish people so I sort of have to be expressive with my culture and heritage,” Faber said.
Faber, 17, is from Indiana and is visiting New York City for the holiday. He believes the #MatzahChallenge campaign will help kids everywhere.
“We are growing up in a culture where it is hard to be truly you and expressive in your culture,” he said.
But on social media, you can easily express who you are and where your family comes from, and you can do it all with just one post.
The anonymous donor says he will give up to $15,400 as part of the challenge.