We have now completed our 2nd full week in quarantine. I'm amazed to see that even though our experience is unusual, the natural world is still blooming with Spring. Buds are appearing on trees, the weather is warming, and the days are getting longer. I find comfort in knowing that nature is flourishing in the absence of normalcy, but also sadness in knowing how much life we are missing as well.


Last year, at this time, many of us were thinking about the foods that we were going to make for the Seder, and who we might be spending the Seder with.  I was planning the congregational seder, sending out reminders to RSVP for the congregational seder, and ordering ingredients to make macaroons and matzoh toffee for 80. 


Our congregational Passover Seder is perhaps my favorite event at the Temple. It is a time to celebrate with the dozens of our friends, family, and guests that fill our social hall. I am saddened that we will be unable to hold such a Seder during Passover this year. I say it that way, because whenever we are once again able to gather together, we will celebrate that day with much joy.


In the interim, for this Passover, we will continue to join together online, bringing us together for our first virtual seder. We all are starving for connection and this could not have come at a better time. We will maintain our physical distance in order to enable the highest of our Jewish values, that of Pikuach Nefesh, saving a life. We will gather together for the second night of Passover at our ZOOM Community Passover Seder.


We will still read and sing many of our favorite songs, stories and prayers.

Passover is a celebration to recall the exodus from slavery to freedom. It’s kind of ironic at that time there were 10 plagues and here we are in a global pandemic. 

It is a time to reflect and reset and look at what is truly important, who and what we take for granted, and reconnect with our selves!!


I have compiled a Hagaddah for our community Seder, which will still be held on Thursday, April 9th   at 6 pm on Zoom. The following is an online link to the PDF which lives on our Temple Website. 2020 Haggadah I will have printed copies available at my front door, with your box of matzoh, which can be picked up next Monday-Thursday. Please let me know if you will be stopping by and if you need printed copies of the Hagaddah.


Since we are leading this on Zoom, I would love families to volunteer to read some of the sections. My hope is for each family to volunteer to “lead” a section of the Hagaddah, making this experience, although different, still special.


If you are interested in participating, please email me rabbi@jewishtemple.org and I will assign you a section.





Rabbi Raina Siroty 


The mission of Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim shall be to maintain a place of worship for the Reform Jewish Community of Central Louisiana, to further Jewish education, promote Jewish culture and to provide facilities for social interaction. Furthermore, we shall conduct ourselves in accordance with our name which means "acts of lovingkindness."



The Jewish Temple

Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim

2021 Turner Street
Alexandria, Louisiana 71301



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