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Passover by the Numbers – Over 500 Seder Experiences with WashU Hillel

Numbers have a particularly special significance during the Passover Seder.  We sing about one goat, we wash our hands twice, our tables are set with three pieces of matzo, we drink four cups of wine, our youngest participants ask four questions, and the list goes on.

As WashU Hillel continued to navigate the pandemic, numbers also played a significant role in our Passover planning this year and underscore our impact on campus:

1 – WashU Hillel’s #1 goal was to ensure that we provided the resources, opportunities, and community for every student to have a safe and meaningful Passover celebration despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

2 – Our tradition of offering free Kosher for Passover lunches and dinners throughout the holiday continued with 2 ways to enjoy each meal— dine-in or carry out.

3 – We offered 3 Seder options— in-person seatings, a fully-catered carry-out option, and a subsidy for students to cook their own meals for friends or order in.

565Total # of Seder experiences facilitated by WashU Hillel this year.

652Total # of Passover meals served beyond the Seders

In sharing about his experience hosting a Seder, Junior Jonah Goldberg said, “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to host my own Passover Seder during the pandemic. I had been worried about whether it would be possible to have a second night Seder (which I usually have with my family and did not want to skip this year), whether I would have time to coordinate everything for it, and whether I could correctly and meaningfully lead a Seder. Hillel providing supplies, a stipend, and Rabbi Jordan’s Haggadah helped make all parts of this process feasible and encouraging for me. My friends and I also had the flexibility to share our personal traditions and create new meaning, with one of us spearheading Miriam’s Cup and all of us discussing our reflections on the Exodus story. We all enjoyed the experience, and I feel more confident and excited about being able to create my own Jewish household as I become an adult.”

We are immensely grateful to our Passover Seder & Meal sponsors (below) for partnering with us to facilitate so many special Passover experiences for our students, especially during this time of continued isolation and uncertainty:

Seder Sponsors
Jodi & Doug Berman
The Louis H. Kohler Foundation
Debbie & Mickey Stern

Passover Dinner Sponsors
Michael Dern
Jennifer Ash & Seth Haberman

Ronit Setton & Benjamin Hershkowitz
Royal Banks of Missouri
Sharon Brown & Michael Pollowitz

Sheet Metal Workers SMART Local Union No. 36
Sheila & Al Rosenfeld

Passover Lunch Sponsors
Penny & Marc Alper
Bais Abraham Congregation
Berger Memorial Chapel
Brown Smith Wallace

Capes Sokol (Sanford Boxerman)
Central Reform Congregation

Congregation B’nai Amoona
Congregation Shaare Emeth

Congregation Temple Israel
The Delmar Gardens Family
Sherri Spear & Steven Isakoff
Jewish Federation of St. Louis
Kohn’s Kosher Meat & Deli Restaurant

Kol Rinah
Jackie & Jim Levey
Millbrook Pharmacy
Leora & Asher Schlusselberg
United Hebrew Congregation

Alix & Jorge Wolf

Finally, In case you missed it, we hope you and your family will enjoy WashU Hillel’s Passover Community Cookbook for years to come.  It’s full of delicious recipes and stories from current students, alumni, Board members, and other Hillel friends.