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Congregation B'nai Israel of St.Petersburg

Passover: The Festival of Freedom

Find the Rabbinical Assembly Pesah Guide Here

We are excited to welcome you to our annual CBI Community Second Night Seder.  All are welcome from birth to 120.  REGISTER HERE

Passover 2024/5784 will be a meaningful time for all of us.  We look forward to seeing you at our annual second night Passover Seder.  


The central narrative of the Haggadah and of Passover is twofold: our journey from slavery to freedom and our journey from idolatry to serving HaKadosh Baruch Hu, the Holy One.  While I truly love the song Dayenu, it would not have been enough for us to stop at any point of our journey.  We needed not only to escape Egypt, but to receive the Torah and to live as Jews. 


Transforming our kitchens, adapting our diets, and celebrating Passover lifts our spirits.  Passover prep should not be slavery, yet when we sit down for the Seder we should feel truly free!


Join me on April 18 at 7PM for a Jews and Brews: Passover Edition and April 9th  at noon for Lunch and Learn with the Rabbi: Passover Edition.  We will discuss the spiritual, physical and logistical aspects of Pesach.  All are welcome in person.  Additionally, my “sermon” on Shabbat HaGadol, April 20th, will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions about Pesach that you wish.


Since we are forbidden to OWN chametz, you may appoint me as your agent to sell your chametz using our online Sale of Chametz Form.   I must receive your completed form by Monday April 22nd at 8:30AM.  (Assuming the buyer does not want your chametz back, you may unlock the chametz cabinet at 9 pm on Tuesday April 30th, following your Havdalah at 8:47 pm.)


Monday April 22nd is the Fast of the Firstborn.  We will be having a Shacharit service at 8:00 am in person and on zoom, followed by an in-person seudat mitzvah breaking the fast following services, generously sponsored by Beth Ann and Joan Redisch.  Following that, you will want to stop eating chametz by 11:00 am and burn or destroy it by 12:15 pm.  Since burning in an apartment is dangerous, throwing it in the trash is also an acceptable way of destroying chametz.  If you want to be extra sure, you can sprinkle a little kitchen cleaner on top to ensure it is totally inedible.


As we gather again this year, let us find inspiration from one another and our beautiful traditions. Let this be a year of blessing and health for us all.

With love, 
Rabbi Philip Weintraub

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Rabbi Weintraub's Tips for Passover:

Based on updated guidelines from The Rabbinical Assembly, most things haven't really changed. We needn't add unnecessary prohibitions.

  • Sell your Chametz -  here's our online form

  • Clean your home as best you are able. 

  • Do some Passover shopping in your pantry.  What you already have may be acceptable.

  • Matzah is ONLY required at the seder. You do not NEED to eat it the rest of the week.

  • Focus on what is meaningful to your family.  Consider adding an additional item to your Seder plate that reflects how your family is responding to our current plague.

  • Take time to be mindful if even for a few moments.  What "emotional-Chametz" is on your heart?  


The Rabbinical Assembly's Pesah Guides:
If you have a question regarding these guides, please contact Rabbi Weintraub for further guidance.

Additional Resources 

Passover Songs with Hazzan Schultz

Hosting Passover for the First Time?
Are you now the youngest (and maybe the only) person in your home? Haven't had to sing the Four Questions in a few years or want to help your children learn? Learn Ma Nishtana and other Passover songs with Hazzan Schultz on our YouTube Channel.  

Tue, May 28 2024 20 Iyyar 5784