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Reimagine freedom. Passover invites us to reimagine what freedom must mean through storytelling, sharing meals and asking big questions about our world.

  • Jewish Life
  • Holidays
Young boy eats bread at Passover gathering

Though Passover only lasts for roughly a week, the holiday has a perpetual impact on the Jewish and universal ethical consciousness. We are taught “in every generation, each person is obligated to see themselves as if they personally went out of Egypt,” in the hope that we never “oppress the stranger, for you yourselves were once strangers in the land of Egypt.” Passover is not merely telling someone else’s story. It demands that we radically empathize and identify with those escaping dangerous and oppressive places, calling on us to liberate all people from all manners of tyranny.

Passover begins at sunset, April 22 // Observed April 22 – April 30, 2024

Passover is called by two names: Pesah and Hag Ha’Aviv. Passed over, and holiday of Spring. Pesach recounts the miraculous and history-altering liberation story of the Israelite people from Egyptian slavery. Hag ha’Aviv—the Spring Holiday—indicates the triumphant return of the agricultural season’s bounty and beauty.

Passover dietary laws eliminate chametz (leavened food) for the weeklong holiday to serve as a symbolic reminder of the Israelites’ hasty departure from Egypt, when they didn’t have time for their bread to rise. Refraining from chametz during Passover and participating in a festive meal (a Seder), commemorate redemption from slavery and help us connect with the themes of freedom and renewal.


Passover at the JCCSF is all about freedom celebrated through the lens of symbolic foods and shared meals. From the hundreds of us gathering together every year since 1980 for a shared First Night Seder meal to homemade matzah from Wise Sons in our homes any night, we embrace these shared experiences and reflect on our personal journeys and the societal freedoms we champion and celebrate. No matter which Haggadah we use, we recount the story of our ancestors leaving Egypt and relate to the oppressed peoples around the world today.

No Passover is complete without our old friends matzo and Manischewitz! Flip through the book below for mouthwatering spins on traditional dishes that are just too good to pass over, inspired by our Nosh on This cooking series.

Thirsty for more? Try a Passover-inspired cocktail (or two) from our Maggid and resident mixologist, Jhos Singer! Watch below as he shows you how to mix up his delicious and surprising “Passover in a Glass.” Want to make it yourself? Get the recipe in the video description. L’chaim!

Well done. Made my night and brought tears to my eyes (several times).  So proud to be a part of this community.

Cristina R.


I did not even know that breakouts were possible with Zoom!  It was like talking with people at your community seder table. The photos and the graphics were excellent, Batshir led a wonderful Seder, Jonathan's music and songs were delightful and everyone worked together to make the moment whole.  And we even had singalongs over Zoom!  

Josef H.


My husband and I would like to thank you for the beautiful Seder you organized last night. It was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into creating a meaningful experience. The artwork, the music, the group choruses, the commentary – it all came together beautifully and made us feel a part of a community, which we haven't felt very much of recently. 

Phyllis G.


This is the first seder that I have attended in my pajamas! Thank you for doing this.  It’s already a memorable Passover.

Raquel B.


My Mom’s first Seder and she says, “This makes all problems seem so small.’

Valerie I.


Thank you to the entire team who made this happen. It was really wonderful to see all of us, from all over the city; people united in song, prayer and ancient tradition with such a modern flair and touch.

Vincenza G.


Children sitting on the floor having a good time and smiling at the camera
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