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About the Passover Roving Rabbis Program

About the Passover Roving Rabbis Program

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Passover: a time to spend with family and friends. The seder: a treasured moment where grandparents and grandchildren meld into a continuum of generations, where memories are forged and traditions are born and borne year after year. Every spring, hundreds of young men, aspiring rabbis, travel far from their fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers to spend these special moments with Jewish people across the globe—their extended family.

Selected from among hundreds of applicants, inspired by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of righteous memory's, mission of love and care for each and every Jew, the roving rabbis come prepared with haggadahs, boxes of hand-made shemurah matzah, cases of grape juice, gefilte fish, horseradish, and other Passover essentials.

Every spring, hundreds of young men, aspiring rabbis, travel far from home to spend these special moments with Jewish people across the globe—their extended family.

More comfortable in the Yeshiva study halls than in the kitchen, often with the help of local volunteers, they quickly adapt to peeling, dicing, cooking, and roasting. With ingenuity and hard work, seders—ranging from magnificent to homey—spring up in hotel rooms and rented halls all across the globe. Often without the benefit of kosher kitchens or proper catering facilities, meals are prepared and served with grace and a smile.

The lonely Israeli business man in Central Africa, the tourist in Nepal, the grandmother in Ukraine, and the medical student in the Caribbean all find a place at the seder tables of Chabad, led and organized by these volunteers. At the Chabad seders one can often hear a babble of languages representing the rainbow that is the Jewish world—united as one family with one soul.

For many, the Chabad seder is the Jewish experience of the year, a time to sing familiar tunes, chant the ancient words of the haggadah, reconnect with friends, and make new ones. Brimming with joy, inspiration, and Torah insights, the roving rabbis make the seder a meaningful and engaging experience. More than just a collection of rituals, the seder becomes a living experience of the birth of our nation. In the words of Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch who oversees the program, “They make the Pesach experience accessible, inviting, and relevant to every Jew, everywhere.”

As these rabbinical students and newly-minted rabbis fan out across the globe, let’s join them on their special journeys. Let’s feel the cold wind of Siberia, the challenges of preparing a seder in the sweltering Far East, the enchanting beauty of the American west, and the sameness of suburban northeast. Let’s experience the days leading up to Passover together with the roving rabbis.

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