We encountered Jamie in the beautiful sand dunes of Huacachina, Peru, while making our rounds in that popular tourist destination, searching for some Jewish guests to grace our Seders.

“Hey, are you rabbis!?” asked a young man. He approached us, the shock on his face mirroring ours.

“Hi, I’m Jamie from England. I’ve been traveling through South America for the past few weeks. Before I left, I promised my mother I would attend a Seder on Passover, and now it’s two days until the holiday starts and I haven’t been able to find one! Would you be able to help me?”

“Of course,” we responded. “We’ve actually travelled thousands of miles from Brooklyn, New York, so that any Jew in Huacachina will be able to attend a Seder!”

“That’s truly lovely. But my group is leaving town tonight. We’re off to Arequipa for the next few days…”

“Jamie, you won’t believe this!” we said. “Our friends—we all left New York together—are making a Seder in Arequipa! We’ll be glad to give you their contact info. You can let your mother know that come Passover, you will be sitting at a Seder, G‑d willing.”

Five hundred miles away, Shneur Wechter and Mendel Cheruff were preparing for their Seder in Arequipa, another Peruvian tourist hotspot.

“I was in the kitchen preparing the food for the Seder,” Shneur relates, “when I decided to take a quick break to check my phone and see if any Jews needed help finding a seder in Peru, as I had also been tasked with answering all questions on Chabad of Peru’s Facebook page.

“I was surprised that I had received a Whatsapp message from a +44 area code, a UK number, since we had only advertised our Seder in Hebrew. It was Jamie, saying how he had met my friends in the desert and they had told him that we were making Passover in Arequipa. Of course, I invited him to the Seder, included all the pertinent details, and Jamie wrote back that he would be delighted to join us for the second Seder.

“Jamie turned out to be the star of the evening. He followed along in the Hagaddah, and sang all the songs—he truly felt at home!”

“This is my first Seder away from my family,” he told the other participants as they were enjoying the festive meal. “In London, the Seder is a huge event, and my parents—especially my mom—were so upset that I would be missing it. I promised them I would find a Seder, and I tried searching online, but nothing doing. Then, my story takes on biblical proportions! I was in the desert sand dunes, and who do I bump into? Two rabbis! I am so amazed and thankful that I am celebrating Passover here tonight.”

We’re happy to report that the initial, five minute encounter will continue to have a positive impact on Jamie’s life. Wechter and Cheruff connected him with Rabbi Eli and Mushka Simon of Chabad at Manchester Universities, where Jamie will be pursuing his undergraduate studies this fall.