Passover is and has always been my favorite holiday. I remember gathering around my grandparents’ dining room table. My cousin Jayne and I would be seated on my Grandma’s beloved piano bench. We would inevitably end up laughing so hard that the seder would be completely disrupted, and my Grandpa Sam would lovingly scold us.
This year, our family Passover is on Zoom. It is treasured more than ever. We Jews understand that Passover is about being spared during many horrific times. We say a prayer of thanks as we remember surviving different plagues through ancient and modern history. Today, we face a plague unlike any we have confronted in our lifetime. We gather virtually because we know that it is sacred to honor Passover, and it is most sacred to “save a life.” That is why this year, we pray in ways that save a life.
Led by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, we have come together to raise emergency relief funds in a swift and meaningful way. We at JF&CS are enormously grateful to be a recipient of these funds and are putting them to use with urgency. The silver lining is the speed in which we came together, united in faith, community and love to be there for all who are in need. This message, felt and acted on around the globe, is the tikkun olam we have been crying for — let this be a mark of demarcation — we are united, compassionate and empathetic. These principles will guide our future actions.
May you and your loved ones be healthy. Blessed Pesach to all.
Terri Bonoff is CEO of Jewish Family & Career Services.