We Who Believe in Freedom:All About Pesach / Passover 5777 at FTJC

Spring of parsley

FTJC has no time to rest, with so much going on for Pesach / Passover, as we make our collective journey from oppression to liberation. We are once again having a Community Seder on the second night of Pesach. There are a number of things each of us should do to prepare for the holiday. So after you have registered for the Community Seder, please continue below:

Second Night Community Seder
Pre-Pesach Prep
Selling Chametz
Kashering for Passover
Wine Tasting
Burning Chametz
Fast of the First-Born
Service Times and Locations
Rimonim: Youth & Family Programming

Register for the Second Night Community Seder
Celebrate with community! Rabbi Guy Austrian will lead a joyful Seder full of discussion, song, learning, drama, and delicious food. Children are warmly welcome.

Date: Tuesday, April 11, Second Seder Night of Pesach
Time: Services, 7:15 PM. Seder, 8:00 – 11:30 PM
Place: Hebrew Tabernacle Social Hall

Deadline to register and pay is Sunday April 2.
For more details, and to register and pay, please click here.

Pre-Pesach Prep

Help Others to Afford Pesach — Ma’ot Chittin
Pesach is expensive! That’s why our tradition includes the mitzvah of donating ma’ot chittin (literally, “wheat money”) to help low-income Jews afford the basics. If you need help yourself, you can e-mail Rabbi Austrian as soon as possible.

Please consider helping out in any of these ways:
1. Donate to the JCC-WHI. Click “Donate” and designate your gift for Pesach.
2. Help the JCC-WHI distribute essential Pesach groceries, for free, to local people. Email Anat Coleman for details.

Get Rid of Your Chametz–Food Drive for JCC-WHI
Can’t eat all that pasta and cereal before Pesach? Give it away to the JCC-WHI food pantry, which serves the entire neighborhood. Donated food must have a hechsher (kosher symbol), be not opened, not expired, and not “junk food”! Drop it off at the food pantry (121 Bennett Ave #11A @ W. 187th St.) before Thursday April 6, from 9 AM to 5 PM, Mon-Thu, 9 AM to 1 PM on Fri.

Sell the Chametz Left Behind — Mechirat Chametz
Chametz should neither be seen in your home, business or vehicle, nor owned by you, during Pesach. Chametz includes not only wheat, but also spelt, rye, oats, and barley. In a case where getting rid of your chametz would cause you a substantial loss (e.g., your collections of small-batch bourbon and heirloom spelt flours, or all your year-round pots and pans), you can put it out of sight and out of reach, and authorize Rabbi Austrian to sell it on your behalf to a non-Jew, for the duration of Pesach. CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT THE AUTHORIZATION FORM — DEADLINE: end of Thursday, April 6, at midnight.

Make Your Kitchen Kosher
Scrub, switch, boil, wash — the process of kashering a kitchen for Pesach is exhaustive and exhausting. But approached with a sense of sacred avodah (work, or divine service), it can be a beautifully focused discipline. Just don’t leave it to the last minute!
Kashrut and cleaning guidelines are available from the Rabbinical Assembly. Additional Pesach guides are online from Star-K and OU.

Kitniyot: A Long Note about Small Things
Until recently, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative) upheld the longstanding Ashkenazi minhag (custom) of refraining from eating kitniyot (literally, “small things”) which include beans, corn, millet, peas, rice, soy, and some other plant-based foods such as mustard, buckwheat and sesame seeds. In Fall 2015 the CJLS approved two responsa (halachic opinions) which permit the consumption of kitniyot for Ashkenazim. To fully understand their positions, which differ in their reasons, please see here and here; to read the dissenting opinion see hereThe FTJC Second Night Community Seder and our communal spaces will continue to not include kitniyot. If you would like to discuss your own practice, feel free to contact Rabbi Austrian. We trust that our community members will speak with one another about this issue with utmost respect and kindness, not indulging in gossip or judgment.

Stock up on Kosher-for-Pesach Wines!
Wine-Tasting Event
Date: Saturday, April 1
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 PM
Location: Cabrini Wine & Liquor, 91 Pinehurst Ave (below 181st Street)

After a weekend of pre-Pesach cleaning, treat yourself to a local wine tasting while crossing another thing off your list: wine shopping! We’ll be sampling K-for-P wine, and all sales will benefit FTJC.

Find and Burn the Last Crumbs of Chametz — Bedikah and Bi’ur
Sunday night April 9, and Monday morning April 10

This blessing guide contains the procedures and blessings for finding, annulling, and burning the last crumbs of chametz in your house.

Step One: Fun for kids and grownups of all ages! On Sunday night, April 9, “hide” and “find” a few last pieces of bread or other chametz in the house, by candlelight. Gather the crumbs safely in a sealed bag. The search is also a spiritual one, for the last bits of pride and oppression inside of you. Get ready to burn them up.

Step Two: On Monday morning, April 10, destroy the chametz you found. You could flush it or throw it in the river, but preferably (and more dramatically) you can burn up your last crumbs (and the utensils used in the search) in a fire barrel behind the Hirsch Yeshiva on Bennett Ave. between W. 184 and W. 185.

The latest time for eating chametz is Monday April 10 at 10:17 AM, and the latest time for destroying chametz is 11:37 AM (in Washington Heights and Inwood).


Fast or Feast for the First-Born —
Siyyum for Ta’anit Bechorot
Monday April 10, 8:00-9:30 AM

Location: Home of Joe & Naomi, 100 Bennett Ave #4G (enter on 186th St.)
Please RSVP

Our Sages mark the horror of, and our deliverance from, the Plague of the Slaying of the First-Born, by prescribing a Fast of the First-Born (Ta’anit Bechorot) on the day before the first night of Pesach, from dawn until the Seder. This fast applies to adult Jews of all genders who are first-born (or only) children of any of their parents.

But we traditionally replace the fast with a se’udat mitzvah (ritual meal) in response to the siyyum(completion) of a substantial portion of Jewish text learning. To be exempt from the fast, join Rabbi Austrian and the community for morning prayers with Torah reading, a brief teaching led by Rabbi Austrian on Tractate Ta'anit of the Babylonian Talmud, and one last bagel & shmear.

You can bring your sealed bag of last chametz from your search of the night before, and we’ll make a group trip to the fire barrel on Bennett Ave. to burn it up!

Please RSVP so that we know we will have a minyan and enough bagels to go around!

Prayer Services and Yizkor
Join us for festival prayers, complete with special Torah readings, joyful and song-filled Hallel, and once-a-year sacred poetry including Tal (the Prayer for Dew) and Shir ha-Shirim (Song of Songs). Please note varying service locations.

Shabbat HaGadol – Saturday, April 8, 9:00 AM
Location: Social Hall at Hebrew Tabernacle. In addition to FTJC's usual Shabbat services, including Children's Services, Rabbi Guy Austrian will address the community on a topic relating to the halachot (pathways and practices) of Pesach. 

Pesach Day 1, Tuesday April 11, 9:00 AM
Shacharit (morning prayers), 9:00 AM. Location: Social Hall at Hebrew Tabernacle. Featuring “Tal” (A Prayer for Dew) at Musaf — don’t miss this dramatic once-a-year prayer, in which initial letters fall from tav ת to aleph א, like dew descending from the divine, like redemption upon our people and our land.  Children's services in Classrooms 1 and 2.

Minchah and Ma’ariv (evening prayers), 7:15 PM and 7:30 PM. Location: Social Hall at Hebrew Tabernacle. Prior to the FTJC Second Night Community Seder; the service is open to all, regardless of whether you are staying for the Seder (pre-registration only) which will immediately follow Ma’ariv at 8:00.

Pesach Day 2, Wednesday, April 12, 9:00 AM
Location: Social Hall at Hebrew Tabernacle. Children's services in Classrooms 1 and 2.

Shabbat Chol Hamo'ed Pesach - Saturday April 15, 9:00 AM
Location: Hebrew Tabernacle.  On this intermediate Shabbat during Pesach, FTJC holds its usual Shabbat morning services, including Children's Services, plus Hallel and more. Featuring “Shir ha-Shirim” (“The Song of Songs”). Incredibly erotic, intricately poetic, multi-gendered, and chanted in a beautiful melody of longing and desire. The Liberation at Pesach is a love affair between Israel and the Holy One. Come experience this yearning for love and connection. Friday night and Saturday afternoon services will also be held on this Shabbat.

Pesach Day 6, Sunday April 16, 9:00 AM
Location: Community Room at 99 Hillside Ave at Sickles St (back entrance).  FTJC's usual Sunday morning minyan is transformed into joyful services for chol hamo'ed Pesach, an intermediate weekday of the festival, with Hallel and Torah readings.

Pesach Day 7, Monday April 17, 9:00 AM
Location: Social Hall at Hebrew Tabernacle. Children's services in Classrooms 1 and 2. Featuring “Shirat Ha-Yam,” the dramatic reading of the Song at the Sea.

Pesach Day 8, Tuesday April 18, 9:00 AM -- with Yizkor
Location: Social Hall at Hebrew Tabernacle. Children's services in Classrooms 1 and 2. With Yizkor at about 10:30 AM, remembering those who have left our world with psalms, readings and the liturgy of mourning. Donations in honor of Yizkor may be made to FTJC by clicking here.

Rimonim: Youth & Family Programming

Shorashim Limmud U’Ma’aseh
Saturday, April 1, *during Tefillah*, 10:40-11:30 AM
Location: Hebrew Tabernacle Library

Join us for Limmud U’Ma’aseh / Learning & Action -- our monthly learning session for 3rd - 5th graders about Jewish ethics, values and dilemmas. This month we’ll have a special edition of Limmud U’Ma’aseh during Shorashim Tefillah focusing on the mitzvah of ‘Loving the Stranger’ in honor of Pesach.

Anafim & Teen Chocolate Seder
Saturday, April 8, *during Kiddush*
Location: Hebrew Tabernacle Library 

Celebrate freedom with a twist of chocolate-y goodness! We'll explore the Pesach seder and its themes through chocolate symbols. Can you guess what the chocolate-covered strawberries represent?

Nitzanim Sprouting Mitzvot
Saturday, April 8, 4:30 PM
Location: RSVP to lsoloman@ftjc.org for address

Join us for our monthly experiential and service-based learning about mitzvot for Nitzanim-niks, children in Pre-K through 2nd grade. This month we’ll explore the mitzvah of “Loving the Stranger,” as connected to the theme of Pesach.

Youth Tefillah: Pesach Edition
Saturday, April 15, 10:40-12:00 AM
Location: Hebrew Tabernacle, usual Tefillah classrooms

We’ll have special children's services on Shabbat morning in celebration of Pesach for Zera’im (newborn - 3), Nitzanim (pre-K - 2nd grade), and Shorashim (3rd - 5th grade).

Zera’im Seeds of Shabbat & Pesach
Saturday, April 15, 4:30-5:30 PM

Location: Home-hosted, RSVP to lsoloman@ftjc.org for the exact address.
Calling all Zera'im families (children ages newborn - 3 years old) for a Shabbat afternoon get-together. We'll join for songs, Passover stories, and a nosh. *Please make sure that all snack contributions are certified Kosher for Passover.* Hope to see you and your little ones there!

Wed, February 21 2018 6 Adar 5778