March 29, 2020 — New York
For Passover 2020, which begins in ten days, American Jewish Committee (AJC) has produced a special Haggadah Supplement. The two-page insert includes a meaningful prayer and a communal responsive reading related to holding the Passover Seder under unusual circumstances created by the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
“The Coronavirus, like an uninvited guest reminiscent of the biblical plagues of the Exodus, will force the most-observed annual Jewish ritual experience, the Seder, to be practiced very differently,” writes Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, in a FOX News oped. “Social distancing, or more severe restrictions of quarantining oneself, require a rethinking of the normal pattern of overflowing guest lists for this most quintessential of Jewish home gatherings.”
The traditional Haggadah question of “Why is this night different from all other nights?” has this year shifted to “Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?”
The Passover Prayer in the Age of Coronavirus reads, in part, “On this Passover, when a pandemic threatens our collective health on an unimaginable scale, we are called to respond with the power of our humanity, with the Divine spirit implanted within us, with our legacy of hope and determination to prevail.”
AJC is encouraging Jews, of all denominations, in the U.S. and around the world, to download and use the Haggadah Supplement 2020 at their Seders. It is available on the AJC website at www.ajc.org/passoverprayer2020.