April 9, 2023

Getting Ready for Passover the Chelsea Jewish Way

A resident enjoys Passover Seder

March Madness may be over, but it’s still a really busy time on our campus with all the Passover preparations. In fact, April Madness might be a better way to describe it! There is a great deal of planning involved probably, more than any other Jewish holiday. Fortunately our dietary and activity teams excel in holiday logistics, so it’s truly a labor of love.

This year, the eight days of Passover begin at sundown on April 5 and end at sundown on April 13. The holiday marks not only the arrival of springtime but it also celebrates liberation, which is why Passover is also called the “Festival of Our Freedom.”

On Passover, family and friends gather together for an elaborate feast known as the Seder. We will hold Seders on the first night of the holiday, with residents, families, staff, and friends sharing stories, blessings, rituals, and a delicious meal.

“We finally feel that we can have  a true holiday celebration again after the pandemic,” said Michael Millard, Food Service Director at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “Changing the dishes, koshering the kitchen and the fact that we will be having guests again is the most rewarding aspect of all.”

Preparing for Passover is quite extensive and our organization begins weeks, even months, before the holiday. Traditionally, we engage in a kind of spring cleaning, removing all leavened foods from the household and using only Passover pots, plates, and silverware.

“The most difficult aspect is getting the products in our kitchens while also operating  non-kosher for Passover simultaneously,” remarked Millard. “The two days before are especially hectic as we have to make sure to prep with only kosher for Passover products. Keeping in mind the 24 /7 needs of our residents, we try very hard to create a seamless transition to the best of our ability.”

It’s a great deal of work for the team, but everyone agrees the end result is well worth it. Passover provides us with the opportunity to get together with family and friends and rejoice in holiday traditions. What could be better?