Initiative To Bring Pesach Celebration To Those Who Need It Most

Rabbis and communal leaders have no shortage of ‘busy seasons.’ For Shluchim like Rabbi Avi Bukiet of Arlington, MA, serving those under medical care who can’t attend a communal seder adds another difficulty. Thus enters the Seder-to-go kit. Specially designed with a seder plate to fit on a hospital tray, the kits are distributed by the medical care-focused Shluchim to local hospital patients, staff, or homebound people.

Originally conceived in 1995 for college students returning home over spring break, the Seder To Go kits have undergone many iterations over the years. During the Covid pandemic, the boxes were made available to individuals who couldn’t access Kosher food or Passover resources as usual due to lockdown restrictions. This year, the package includes a leaflet advising prayer and added Mitzvot for our brethren in Israel.

“I am a young NHS doctor working long shifts. This is the first time away from my family for the Seder. Receiving this kit really made my day, I would not have had a Passover if not for the Seder To Go Kit,” said one grateful recipient last year. “The kit was like a miracle from Heaven. The attention to detail was way beyond what I could have expected. It demonstrated how much you cared not just to tick the box.”

In working with community Shluchim like Rabbi Bukiet as well as chaplains and hospital staff, Merkos 302’s Chabad On Call, led by Mrs Chani Goldberg, has focused on the importance of a patient’s spiritual atmosphere and communal inclusion, which has a noticeable impact on their recovery. As well as providing training and accreditation for Jewish chaplains, COC connects patients with their local Shluchim through an international directory, helping provide visitation, counseling, mitzvah opportunities, and family support.

Thousands of Seder To Go packages have been distributed internationally over the years, and their attention to detail does not go unnoticed. Many recipients were moved by details such as a toy frog, referencing the plague in the Pesach story. In times of distress, small gestures like this bring a smile to a patient’s face, making all the difference in their journey.

“The Rebbe instilled in us the importance of ensuring every Jewish person is reached, especially with the Shemura Matzah initiative,” says Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302. “These packages ensure that even the most isolated Jew can still access the timeless joy of Pesach, just one phone call away.”

Available for purchase in bulk from Chabad On Call’s Website, the kits enable Shluchim to reach out to members of the community who may otherwise be forgotten. Complete with everything one needs to conduct a Pesach Seder, the package enables hospital patients, medical staff, or homebound people to experience the festival joyously.

For more information, or to purchase Seder To Go kits, please visit a new webpage for patients with resources, articles, and more is now available at!

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