New York City rabbis are turning to Zoom video calls ahead of Passover to help housebound Jews prepare for their Seders — and feel less alone during the traditionally family-oriented holiday.

“We have, in a general sense, reached out to everybody, to make sure that everybody is OK in our community,” said Rabbi Moshe Hecht, who is from Windsor Terrace and part of a network of rabbis within the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement.

Along with two rabbis from Park Slope, Hecht has been teaching free classes three nights a week in advance of Passover on subjects such as how to clean your kitchen of leaven and forbidden grains before the holiday, as well as how to run a Seder meal.

“Passover is generally a holiday people celebrate with family and their community,” Hecht said. “At our Seder alone, we usually host 50 people. This year we’re going to have only my wife and four children.”

He said many of the people tuning in to the live-streamed classes are those accustomed to traveling elsewhere for the Seder rather than hosting themselves.

“There are young people in our community who have never hosted their own Seder in their lives, who always go to their parents, their grandparents,” he said.

Hecht and volunteers are also delivering hand-made matzoh to people’s homes, as well as ready-made Seder plates, which are complete with all the symbolic foods that eaten or displayed per tradition.

Rabbi Shlomo Kugel, who is the director of Chabad of the West Side, said that he will be hosting a model Seder via Zoom on Wednesday, the night before Passover begins, to guide viewers through the rituals.

The synagogue has also set up a rabbinic call center through which people can set up 15-minute call slots with rabbis to ask questions about Passover, he said.

“It’s hand-holding,” Kugel said. “It’s reassurance, making people know that it’s not as scary as it may seem.”

Rabbi Yossi Blesofsky, who serves the Chabad Lubavitch of Northeast Queens, said he hopes Passover help can provide some reassurance to the local Jewish community during an uneasy time.

“We see it as our role right now to — as when the Jews left Egypt — split that sea of anxiety and uncertainty, and create an island of calm,” he said. “So, on one hand, we’re here to teach the fundamentals of faith and trust, that at the end of the day we are in God’s hands and it will work out OK.”

Source: nypost.com/feed