PROVIDENCE, April 7, 2020 — Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers? It is easy to know the answer to that question, but we must acknowledge that it is also very hard. This year, especially for families and friends who love to gather in large groups for their Seders, the COVID-19 crisis brings disappointment. This year, we must celebrate the festival only with our household members as part of our effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. We can derive strength and comfort knowing that we are helping to save lives in this way, but there is no denying that this is not the Passover we had hoped for.
The Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island calls upon the entire Jewish community to stay home for your Seders this year and to share the holiday in person only with immediate household members. There are no exceptions. Leaving your home or gathering with people from outside your household for the Seders puts lives at needless risk and is therefore forbidden by Jewish law. For those who allow use of electronic communication during the festival, we encourage participation in “virtual Seders” over online meeting platforms, either among private groups of friends and family, or events sponsored by synagogues and other organizations.
We also wish to publicize the new CVS Health testing site in Lincoln near the Twin River Casino. The site delivers results of a free drive-through COVID-19 test in minutes. To save lives, we encourage people who meet the criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CVS to get tested. Please check the CVS.com website to see if you meet the criteria and to pre-register for a same-day time slot for testing. A medical referral is not required.
If you or anyone you speak to are in need of services or support, please contact Jewish Collaborative Services at (401) 331-1244. You don’t need to be Jewish to access these vital resources from JCS and we encourage anyone to reach out.