Happy Passover!

  • It is the time of year when flowers start to bloom, we put away our snow boots, and we take out our baseball gloves. Okay, maybe not this year. Regardless of the amount of snow still on the ground, Passover has arrived. Our houses are cleaned, our matzah is bought and we prepare to gather with friends and family to tell the story of our Exodus from Egypt. Tonight, our camp families all over the world will be telling the same story, asking the same questions, celebrating in the same way, as we pass down traditions from one generation to the next.

    Each year at this time, my mind drifts back to my childhood Seders with memories so clear that they seem just like yesterday. I close my eyes and I can smell my Grandma Dolores’s matzah ball soup and my mother’s brisket. I loved standing on a chair and watching their week long cooking production. I close my eyes and I can hear the sound of my Grandpa Meyer leading us in Dayeinu getting louder as my sister asked, “Is it time to eat the festive meal yet?” for the fourth time. I close my eyes and I can taste my mother’s mandel bread and see my brother’s face as he steals the Afikomen from under the resting pillow. In our family, it was the tradition for the kids to steal the Afikomen and make the adults

    pay us to get it back. I still laugh thinking about the year that the family dog, Mugs, stole the Afikomen as my brother passed it to me under the table. There was no Afikomen that year, but my grandpa still gave us each a $2 bill.

    Forty years later, there are new faces at the table, but the traditions have stayed the same. There is the smell of Aunt Sharon’s matzah ball soup, the sound of Uncle Rob leading us in Dayeinu, and the sight of my son’s face as he steals the Afikomen. My mother’s mandel bread now comes special delivery from St. Louis in two boxes, one with pecans for me and the kids and one without nuts for my husband.

    Tonight, camp friends gather all over the world to tell the same story and ask the same questions. As we celebrate Passover, we know that camp is just around the corner. Just as the rituals of Passover are passed down from generation to generation, so are the traditions of camp. I close my eyes and can taste Chef Robert’s grilled cheese sandwiches that are always served on the first day of camp. I close my eyes and I can hear the sound of 400 campers and staff singing our Alma Mater each night. I close my eyes and I can see the flickering of the Havdallah candle with Lake Potanipo in the background. I open my eyes and smile, knowing that forty years from now there will be new faces around the tables, but these traditions will have stayed the same.

    Happy Passover!

    With Tevya Spirit and all good wishes for a wonderful Passover,

    Chag Sameach,


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