Druskininkai, Lithuania, is a scenic vacation village around 120 km south of Vilna. It is often frequented by Israelis in the summer months. We were the first group to be assigned there for Passover, and the weather was bitterly cold, so we had absolutely no clue as to what to expect.

Our first objective upon our arrival was to find the Hotel De Litta, were we would be staying and holding the Seder. The Chabad rabbi in Vilna, Rabbi Sholom Krinsky, was acquainted with the owner of the hotel and had made our arrangements. When we met the owner, he proudly informed us that he is the only Jew in Druskininkai. “You’re in for a surprise,” we told him.

Armed with a map and lots of optimism, we started walking towards the center of town. We placed signs announcing our Seder in many shops, and stopped by the spas and hotels, asking everyone we met if they were Jewish, or had any Jewish friends. The replies were usually along the lines of “No, but we have Jewish friends in Vilna,” or “You’re way too early for that; the Israelis come only in the summer.”

An hour into our search, we struck gold—an elderly Jewish couple from Moscow, vacationing in Druskininkai! When we told them about our plans to make a Seder, their faces lit up. “How nice,” the wife exclaimed. “As long as our feet can carry us there, of course we will come!”

We were still trekking through town when a woman approached us. Her name was Sarah, and she had just discovered that her maternal grandmother was Jewish. The grandmother had shared the news with her on her deathbed, and it had been confirmed by other relatives. We explained to her that she is also Jewish, and ran through the history of Passover with her. We then gave her all the pertinent details about our Seder the following night.

Our last stop of the day was the largest spa in Druskininkai. We asked the front-desk receptionist if there were any Jews registered there. “No, nobody here is Jewish. I’m sorry.” It was getting late, and we still had to catch a bus to Vilna. On our way out, we noticed two women staring at us. We approached them and started chatting, and it turned out that they were Jewish, visiting from Israel, and were thrilled to be able to join our Seder.

Twenty-four hours later, after a very eventful day, which included traveling to and from Vilna, schlepping, negotiating, shopping and setting up, our Seder table was ready. We set twenty places, hoping for the best. At 6:30, half an hour before the scheduled time, our first guest arrived—Sarah. She was followed shortly thereafter by the two women from the spa. Our last guest was Itzik, originally from Vilna but now in a local rehabilitation center.

The three women lit candles, and then we all took our seats. Due to the small and intimate crowd, we had the luxury of being able to explain the proceedings in depth, step by step. We were all swept away by the moment, especially Sarah, who lapped up every piece of information we shared. One of the Israeli women said that the Seders she had attended in the past were very rushed affairs, unlike this one which was “amazing,” and the other told us that she had never been to a Seder before. Itzik was just overjoyed to be at a Seder this year, in Druskininkai.

No, we didn’t have huge crowds, or make the front page of the paper or the seven o’clock news. But to four precious Jewish souls, our small Seder meant the world.