Jewish communities around the world are gearing up for the approaching Passover holiday, amassing thousands of pounds of the unleavened bread known as matzah and countless cases of wine for the holiday’s traditional Seder meals.

Beginning the evening of April 18 and continuing for eight days, the holiday commemorates the Jewish exodus from Egyptian bondage more than 3,000 years ago.

In the Dominican Republic, Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Shimon Pelman is expecting up to 150 guests for the first Seder night at a local S. Domingo hotel. In addition to distributing 300 individual boxes of handmade matzah to Jewish community members and visiting guests, he’s selling larger boxes and wine to the community, as well as organizing an educational pre-Passover Seder to prepare locals for the holiday.

Similarly in suburban Michigan, customers of a local supermarket can find model Seder tables organized by Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov, director of The Shul in West Bloomfield. He expects 150 people to make it to the synagogue’s public Seder at the beginning of the holiday.

And in the vast expanse of Montana, packages of matzah are making their way to 100 Jewish families scattered across the state.

According to Montana resident Kinerette Martin, locals appreciate the pre-holiday attention shown by Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Chaim Bruk. She noted that the rabbi traveled a half-hour from his office in Bozeman in order to make her home kosher for Passover.

“Passover at Chabad is really a magical experience,” said Martin. “The Seders here are a huge community event, and it’s a beautiful experience being a part of them.”

(To locate a Passover Seder in your area through’s popular directory of events worldwide, click here.)

Excited attendees wait for the Passover Seder to begin in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Photo: Levi Stein)
Excited attendees wait for the Passover Seder to begin in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Photo: Levi Stein)

Community Celebrations

Rabbi Yehuda Tiechtel, director of the Rohr Chabad Center in Berlin, described holiday preparations in the German capital as a massive display of Jewish unity. He said that 400 people are expected at a public Seder at a local hotel, while 100 Israeli-expatriates and other Hebrew speakers will attend a Seder just for them nearby. In addition, children from schools throughout the city will join together before the beginning of Passover for an immersive experience complete with matzah-baking and craft projects.

There’s a similar focus on the other side of the globe: In Houston, Texas, the popular downtown Chabad of Uptown center is hosting multiple community Seders for more than 100 people.

“Passover at Chabad of Uptown provides a true community Seder, as opposed to just a large Sseder,” said Houston attorney Larry Scott. “There’s a family intimacy there, where you feel like you’re home, like going to a Seder with all of your extended Jewish family.”

On Florida’s East Coast, Maxine Milliken said she’s looking forward to attending the community Seders at the Chabad Jewish Center of Martin and S. Lucie County.

“Many of us down here don’t live near our families, so Chabad is our family,” said Milliken, who will be one of the hundreds of people receiving matzah from the center this year. “It’s nice to be able to celebrate with people who we see all the time in services too. This gives us all the opportunity to get a deeper meaning of the Seder and bring us closer together.”