Celebrating Pesach Celebrating Pesach at COA starts weeks before the festival with our own special Seder lunch. It is held at least 3 weeks prior to Pesach because we keep the tradition of not eating matzo for some weeks prior to sitting down with our families for Seder night, so the matzo feels like a “new” experience. Our Membership Engagement Manager Mordechai Levin, who is also a trained Chazan, led the Seder. Tables were set with mock Seder plates festooned with bowls containing the traditional items found on our Seder plates at home. Tables also had copies of our own cut down version of the Haggadah with pages of Pesach songs to sing together. Meanwhile thanks go to our volunteers who set the tables, and created the Seder meal with traditional menu items such as matzo balls and charoset. But our Seder is just the start. The next week work starts in earnest to provide parcels to Jewish residents in aged care facilities, as well as special hardship parcels filled with kosher for Pesach staples and extra goodies for those suffering financial distress, to help them get through the festival. This year we also packed small parcels with matzo and grape juice for those living in the B'nai B'rith retirement villages in Rose Bay, Double Bay and Waitara. This year the total of parcels was over 500! The packing and sending of all these parcels falls to Ranmalie de Silva and her small army of volunteers. We are ever grateful for their work in providing this and many more services to our community. But why all the fuss?? We gift these parcels our to all Jewish residents in aged care, regardless of their association with COA, because it makes them feel loved and connected to their community and heritage at Purim, Pesach and the High Holidays. Community connection is vital to healthy ageing and it is hoped these simple gifts will spark memories and create joy for residents. This annual project is undertaken in partnership with Jewish House and we thank them sincerely for helping to make the gifts possible, and providing their ongoing support to COA.