The irony escapes no one reading this that it’s April — the Hebrew month of Nisan – our time for renewal and celebration, our time for gathering family and friends (including newcomers) from near and far for our Passover feast.  This year, as we hunker down to our virtual seders, we may well write a new chapter of our Haggadah – our own accounting of a modern-day, world-wide, real-life plague.

Social distancing.  Sheltering at home. Working from home. Skyping. Meeting online via ZOOM. Keeping ourselves and our families safe, active and connected . . . how are you?

Taking long walks, long breaths and short naps? Practicing yoga? Learning to home-school the kids? Hanging out online? Shopping Amazon?  Buying groceries via InstaCart? Enjoying home cooking? Stress baking? Reading new novels? Turning off the news? Starting a journal? Playing music daylong? Finding new board games fascinating? Solving word puzzles? Catching Netflix? Binging on popcorn and washing hands? Cleaning and wiping surfaces obsessively?

How are we spending our time?

As the days and weeks and projected months of COVID-19 pass (and, as the sun comes up each morning, this too will pass), what will we make of this time?  Our time together.  How will we record it, replay it, remember it and retell it to our children?

If you are watching, waiting and counting the days to pass over and wish to share your thoughts, one of many places to connect is right here on the link to Federation’s Facebook page.   

We may be families in close quarters with our youngsters, doing our best to keep books and laptop lessons open . . . We may be couples or singles far away from our loved ones or shut off from our seniors in communal spaces. . . but we’re all in this together.  Perhaps we’re not “preparing” for Pesach this year in our usual ways, but our story, now nearly 3,000 years long, still goes on, from bondage to bonding, from Exodus to freedom, from Four Questions to answers, from bitter herbs and tears to song and laughter. 

That’s our Passover and nothing changes the fact that we are in the story together, here together – Heneinu.  Here for Good.  Here for our families and community. May our connections and moments of grace and wellbeing keep us strong and sustain us through the storm.

Your Federation is at work.

 Looking for resources, ways to get help or give back? 

Check Federation’s Community-Wide Coronavirus Resource Page with links to Help, Connect, and Go online for Congregational services and other information. More information can be found on our Facebook page.

Connect with Federation’s NEXTGen Detroit, Women’s Philanthropy, Affinities and Israel and Overseas – moving programs online and developing new content that specifically address the emotional wellbeing of community members in light of the profound changes in our daily lives and interactions.

Stay strong. We recognize that there is no roadmap for dealing with this crisis, no instruction manual to follow. But we are fortunate to live in Jewish Detroit – a generous and resilient community, where we can be grateful for the many supporters and volunteers who have stepped up to lead our emergency efforts.

Stay safe, stay well, stay connected

Planning a virtual seder?

Get a family-friendly Hagaddah, free online from

For more resources, online Hagaddahs and recipes, visit JTA linked here.