NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wednesday night at sundown, Jewish people celebrate the first night of Passover.
It’s a time for families to come together to mark the exodus of the Jews out of bondage in Egypt.
Without being able to gather in person due to the coronavirus pandemic, families are finding creative ways to celebrate.
The Mennen family gathered around the computer, from Westchester to Florida and Virginia, for a Passover Seder at a safe social distance.
Many families in the tri-state area have similar setups, breaking matzoh via video chat, keeping tradition with the help of technology.
One little boy in Lakewood, New Jersey, led his own Seder on video to send to his grandparents.
Earlier in the day, the Jewish charity Met Council went door to door, delivering thousands of pounds of kosher food to families in the tri-state area.
In Westchester County, Ibiza Kitchen, a Spanish restaurant, switched gears to prepare traditional Passover meals for pick-up.
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Cindy Hsu spoke to Reva Gajer, who’s celebrating on Long Island.
“Passover is the holiday of freedom and it’s never felt so poignant as it has this year,” Reva said.
Last year when Reva’s family celebrated, there were so many people she needed to set several tables for the Seder meal. Normally, her family comes from all over the country. They cook together and plan for months.
“Let me show you the menu that was supposed to be for this year. Well it’s all gone, and all we’re having is brisket and salad. I’m so grateful,” Reva said. “The truth is I’m not used to cooking alone. Let me show you what it really looks like, me cooking in here. I’m a hot hot mess.”
This year, her Seder will be “quite a bit smaller” than her usual fare, Reva said.
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“Table is set for four people. We’ve all been in isolation together,” she said.
“It required quite a bit of orchestration, so I have to give a big shout out to my kids and to my brother-in-law who have done a Herculean job setting this up. I’ll let you know if it works,” Reva said.
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“I’m sure it will,” said Hsu.
While this night may be particularly different from all the others, families are still finding ways to spend it together.
The Passover holiday lasts for eight days.