Celebrating Passover With Your Family Away From Home

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20120318150902Next week, Jewish families around the world will be gathering together to celebrate Passover. This is a holiday that celebrates the freedom of the Jewish people from their enslavement in Egypt. In order to share this triumph, Jews and even non-Jews gather together to celebrate freedom. One of the customs of this Jewish holiday is that leavened bread is removed from our diets and homes for 8 days. While this is a no-brainer to take on for gluten-free families, this is not so easy for bread breathing, pizza and pasta partakers. Add on a road trip to this equation and now what? I have some good news for you. There is still time to plan ahead an avoid food challenges this Passover. Here are my 5 ways to celebrate Passover with your family when away from home.

What foods can you eat during Passover. So glad you asked. In a nutshell, there are some very basic rules of Passover friendly foods. This year, Passover has gone high tech with a new Kosher App. You can also research the foods that are Kosher for Passover by using directory of Passover products. I also would suggest you go to My Jewish Learning, where they further identify these basic rules on foods not eaten on Passover. This includes any product that is fermented or can cause fermentation may not be eaten, including five grains: wheat, rye, barley, oats, and spelt. Any food or drink that is made from one of these grains or that contains one of these grains, even in very small quantity, is considered hametz.

Your very own Matzamobile. Yes, it can break easy, but you will find plenty of Kosher for Passover snacks that you can take with you. Again, check the directory of Passover products. Osem and Maniscehwitz have snacks that are perfect for kids and Kosher for Passover!

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Plan ahead. Now that you know what foods are Kosher for Passover, check in to see what supermarkets will be near your vacation destination. Once you locate them, look online, email, or call them to see what products they will have. Just note, they may have a lot this week, but next week it will be last minute shopping time and they may run out (this has happened even in well stocked supermarkets). Avoid that last minute dash and order in advance. You will also want to order Kosher for Passover wines to serve at your Seder. See what wine shops are in the area as well and order in advance.

20120330130236Participate in a communal Seder. If you like meeting new people, you can see a list of local synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, or restaurants hosting a Seder this year. In the New York area alone, there are several possibilities. Listen to my favorite Talk Show personality, Joan Hamburg, which I have included it in this post. She lists several restaurants in the New York area. This may make you change your Passover vacation plans to NYC!

Make your own Seder wherever you are. Yes, I have had a Passover Seder in a hotel room before. It was in LA when I was a teenager. We ordered an entire Passover meal from The Fairfax Deli. This is before I was strictly Kosher and I am not sure if this place is now. We sat at the small table in the hotel room and made a Seder. Get the kids excited about Passover this year and buy the SHALOM SESAME: It’s Passover Grover (SISU Entertainment) DVD or download some great coloring pages for your kids at shalomsesame.org.

Please share your Passover journey and please leave a comment below.