Feb. 21, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Many members of our community and Jewish people around the world will observe the holiday of Passover from March 27 to April 4, 2021. Passover celebrates liberation and freedom - universal themes distilled in the biblical story of Exodus. During the holiday, those observing eat in a special way, which includes special foods at ritual meals called Seders at the beginning of the holiday, and excludes other foods (anything that could rise or leaven) for the entire week.
As announced in October, due to the current travel restrictions needed to keep our community safe during the pandemic, Brandeis will remain in session during Passover for the first time in our 73-year history. One of Boston’s best kosher caterers, Catering by Andrew, will provide kosher-for-Passover food throughout the week, and there are several ways for students to enjoy Seders.
Hillel, Dining Services and other university partners have been preparing since last semester to make this effort a success. Given the complicated and extensive logistics involved, students must sign up in advance for Seders and meals by Friday, March 5 through the Hillel website. We will not be able to guarantee Seders, meal or room reservations after the deadline.
Below is a summary of the options available.
For undergraduate and graduate students:
Seder meals on March 27 and 28: Some students will want to participate in virtual seders with their families, while others will want an in-person (students only) option. Hillel and Dining Services are preparing to support both of these options on the first two nights of Passover. All on-campus Seders must comply with current Brandeis COVID-19 health and safety measures.
Please visit the Brandeis Hillel website to sign up for Seders and Passover meals. You can pay for meals with meal swipes or a credit card. All sign-ups must be completed by Friday, March 5. We will not be able to guarantee kosher-for-Passover food or room reservations after the deadline.
We’re offering three options for Seders:
- Host a Seder: Students in groups of 5-10 people can reserve a space on campus to enjoy a Seder together. Space on campus is limited. If your group has fewer than 10 people, we hope you’ll embrace the opportunity to make new friends, and we may place additional students at your Seder.
Join a Seder: Students can sign up and we’ll match you with a Seder led by other students. Space on campus is limited. Seders will have different themes, lengths and different combinations of mostly English, mostly Hebrew, a mix of both, etc. We encourage students to tell us if they’d like to lead or learn how to lead one of these Seders for their peers.
Seder-to-Go: For students who plan to eat in their rooms and Zoom with friends or family, or who live in a suite and will have Seders with their suitemates. We’ll get you everything you need for a meaningful Seder and a delicious meal.
Kosher-for-Passover dining throughout the week, from March 27 through April 4:
- Whether or not you have a meal plan, you must sign up in advance by March 5 for kosher-for-Passover meals. This sign-up is also available through the Hillel site.
- For students with a meal plan, kosher-for-Passover meals will be treated the same as any other meal, according to the plan you are on, but you must sign up by March 5.
- Students who are NOT on a meal plan will have the option of purchasing as many kosher-for-Passover meals as they wish in advance.
- All kosher-for-Passover dining will be provided at the Faculty Club. The kosher area in Sherman will be closed for the week.
For faculty and staff:
Kosher-for-Passover dining throughout the week of March 27 through April 4:
Faculty and staff who are working on campus who wish to purchase individual kosher-for-Passover meals must also sign up by Friday, March 5 on the dining website. Kosher-for-Passover dining will be provided at the Faculty Club; the kosher area in Sherman will be closed for the week.
Brandeis is not able to provide Seder kits for faculty and staff.
All students, faculty and staff are required to follow Brandeis COVID-19 health and safety measures prior to picking up Passover meals on campus.
In addition to providing for the needs of those who observe Passover rituals and requirements, Brandeis Hillel is developing programming for all members of our campus community who wish to learn about Passover and find meaning in its story. Please watch the Hillel website and follow our Facebook page for spiritual offerings and educational opportunities. We will be communicating these opportunities as we get closer to Passover.
Rabbi Seth Winberg
Director and Senior Jewish Chaplain, Center for Spiritual Life
Executive Director, Hillel
Raymond Lu Ming Ou
Vice President of Student Affairs