Preparing for Passover |

Preparing for Passover

Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz, left, and his wife Chyena are preparing for the Passover Seder later this month, and will be sure to have plenty of Shmura Matzah on hand.
Submitted Photo


WHAT: Community Passover Seder

WHERE: Foothills Event Center, 400 Idaho Maryland Road, Grass Valley

WHEN: Friday, April 19, 7:15 p.m.

TICKETS: No charge. Suggested Donation. By April 5: $36 adult, $15 child. After April 5th: $54 adult, $25 child. No one will be turned away for lack of ability to pay.

RSVP: or 530-404-0020


Residents of Nevada County are warmly invited to attend a traditional Passover Seder with Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz and his wife on Friday, April 19 at The Foothills Event Center in Grass Valley. The third annual Family-Style Community Passover Seder will be replete with the Mah Nishtana, traditional handmade round Shmura Matzah, fine imported wines, lively dialogue, a children’s program, and an exquisite four-course Kosher for Passover meal. “Passover is not simply a celebration of the historic liberation of an ancient people,” said Rabbi Yusewitz, director of Chabad of Grass Valley. “Passover is about our own personal liberation – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Passover inspires us to break free from the shackles restraining us from reaching new heights – in our lives, relationships and connection with God.”

In an effort to accommodate as many people as possible, there will be gluten-free and vegan options available upon advance special request. In addition, there is no set price to attend the Seder.

“It’s my pleasure to invite the Jewish community to our Seder, and no one should be uncomfortable to attend because their finances are tight.” said Yusewitz. Those who can are encouraged to help sponsor another individual or family. Chabad of Grass Valley relies 100 percent on local donations to cover their programs and operating expenses.

Another Passover project sponsored by Chabad of Grass Valley is the distribution of dozens of pounds of hand-made Shmura Matzah before Passover to help local Jewish participate in the upcoming Passover holiday.

Round, kneaded and shaped by hand, present day “Shmurah” Matzahs are similar to those eaten by the Jews when leaving Egypt over 3,000 years ago. Directed by God to leave Egypt hastily, the people of Israel could not wait for their dough to rise, and thus ate unleavened crackers called “Matzah.” From the moment the wheat is harvested, the ingredients are carefully watched to ensure that they do not become leavened, which would be prohibited on Passover.

The local effort is part of a global Passover campaign that began in 1954, when the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of blessed memory, considered the most influential rabbi in modern history, launched the Shmurah Matzah initiative as part of an effort to create awareness and promote observance of the holiday. An estimated four million hand-baked Shmurah Matzahs will be distributed by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement this year.

“The Rebbe taught that no solitary Jewish person ought to be left out,” Yusewitz said.

“Every Jew, regardless of his or her background, affiliation or even location, should have access to the provisions they need to celebrate Passover.”

Chabad of Grass Valley has set up a Passover website where people can RSVP for the Seder and request Shmurah Matzah. Other site features such as a menu planner, sale-of-chametz form, house cleaning checklist and Seder “how-to” guide will help to ease Passover preparations, while the site’s fun and educational activities such as the interactive Seder plate keep the kids busy.

All are welcome to join the community Seder, regardless of Jewish affiliation or background. Reservations can be made online at or by calling 530-404-0020. A second Passover Seder on Saturday night will be held at the Rabbi’s home, please contact him directly to RSVP.

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