NEW YORK – As two conflicts and rising antisemitism take their toll on the global Jewish community, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is ensuring that Jews around the world are able to come together and celebrate Passover, which begins the evening of April 22 and concludes on April 30. JDC is providing Passover camping, cultural events, and mental health activities in Israeli cities battered from the ongoing war, as well as continuing its annual tradition of distributing matzah and special food packages to vulnerable Jews in Ukraine and across the globe, and hosting seder meals and other events to commemorate the Exodus story.

“In this fraught moment for Jews across the globe, we’re working extra hard to ensure Jews and Jewish communities worldwide, no matter what challenges they face, can experience the spirit of the Passover story and the triumph of the Jewish people over adversity,” said Ariel Zwang, CEO of JDC. “Now is the time to celebrate our deliverance as a people and to unite around our shared responsibility to one another, engaging in lifesaving works and activities that connect us to our traditions. These efforts will help us heal and restore hope for the future.”

In Israel, where JDC is aiding the hardest-hit Israelis heal, recover, and rebuild after the October 7th terrorist attacks and the ongoing war, the aid organization is providing supportive holiday activities in traumatized communities. In Ofakim, a city outside the Gaza envelope that has been devastated by the war, JDC is supporting a Passover day camp for children in a neighborhood where 52 residents were murdered on October 7. Organized by the women in the community who are involved in JDC recovery and resilience initiatives, the camp will host children ages 4-10 and is designed to ease the burden on families during the stressful time of Passover preparations, minimize family crises, and support ongoing emotional recovery. In Ashkelon, JDC is working with the community to plan pre-Passover activities that offer solidarity and comfort. This includes a three-kilometer long “Heroes March” that will involve 2,000 high school students along with community leaders, first responders, and residents in a salute to the city’s inspiring resilience, especially resonant in advance of the holiday celebrating the Jewish people’s deliverance from oppression.

In Ukraine, JDC will once again ensure those impacted by the ongoing conflict will still be able to celebrate Passover. JDC will distribute more than 30,000 boxes of matzah to the most vulnerable elderly, children, and other community members to ensure they can enjoy a taste of the holiday. In devastated cities and locations around Ukraine, thousands of local Jews – seniors, children, poor families, and the internally displaced – will attend more than 100 in-person and online Passover programs, including seders and cooking classes, concerts, and educational seminars at JDC’s Jewish community centers and Hesed social service centers, which have been hubs for the delivery of more than 800 tons of humanitarian aid during the crisis. JDC and local Jewish community members will also host “Passover Open Homes” where the elderly and other members of the community open their homes to their neighbors to enjoy a holiday meal and learn about the holiday.

Throughout the rest of the former Soviet Union, thousands of Jews will participate in online and in-person seders and other holiday events. These and other global activities include:

Moldova: The local Jewish community of Chisinau will hold a community seder with an expected 400 participants and the local Jewish volunteer corps will contact or visit 500 poor Jewish elderly people to wish them a happy Passover and ensure their needs are being met.

Hungary: The JCC in Budapest has launched a special website with Passover information and developed flash cards to educate people about the Passover story. The JCC will also host a seder for families.

Bulgaria: JDC and the local Jewish community will host multiple seders and provide the elderly with food packages for the Passover holiday. Similar programs are also planned in Latvia, Poland, Estonia, and Romania.

Morocco: A seder will be offered for elderly residents at the Old Age Home in Casablanca. Students will learn seder traditions in school.

India: A seder will be held at Bayiti, JDC’s old-age home for Jewish elderly in Mumbai, sharing local customs and educational offerings.

Kazakhstan: In Pavlodar, an in-person mock seder will bring together the elderly, families, and youth participants to learn about the customs associated with the Passover seder.

JDC’s Passover activities — including distribution of matzah by JDC’s Hesed social service centers and Jewish volunteer corps in Ukraine — is supported by JDC’s partnerships with the Claims Conference, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Federations of North America, and UJA-Federation of New York.