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Jewish Life at Aviva: Oh, the Seders We’d Make!

By March 28, 0201February 10th, 2020No Comments

Living Our Legacy

An Occasional Post on Jewish Life on the Aviva Campus

by Rabbi Emerita Barbara Aiello

“Oh, the Seders We’d Make!”

In the weeks before Passover a group of women all of whom are Kobernick residents on the Aviva campus, joined me in the Rotunda (Kobernick’s “Town Square,”) to share memories of Passover celebrations in days gone by.

“Oh, the seders we’d make,” said Helen. “I’d set the table for so many of our family and friends. One year 21, another year almost 30.”

Rita chimed in.  “My mother’s Passover dishes were stored in a barrel in the basement. Taking them out each year was a joy.”

“And the matzah ball soup was to die for, and my Auntie’s tzimmes, so good. My father led the seder,” recalls Annie, “but we kids were waiting for the Passover dinner!”

These Passover memories and so many others were shared with joyful nostalgia mainly because Kobernick’s residents continue to have the opportunity to “make the seder.”  How?  Each year the Administrative Staff at the Kobernick House, led by Fran Covalt, transforms our formal dining room into a Passover festival reminiscent of the seder experiences residents so lovingly crafted in their homes years ago. Beautiful flowers graced each table while individual seder plates, one for each resident, were prepared by our kitchen staff and the traditional book of prayers, songs, stories and blessings (Haggadot) were on hand for each resident.

This year’s seder was truly a family affair as it was led by newly appointed CEO, Jay Solomon and his son, Matthew. The festival candles were lit, blessings made and traditional songs sung by Cantorial Soloist, Rosalie Leon.

“And it wasn’t too long either,” agreed several residents, one of whom recalled that, at six years old, he spent the last hour sitting under the seder table!

“This year I had my children and grandchildren with me,” kvelled a resident who remarked, “We carried on our traditions that I shared with my grandchildren. And I didn’t have to do the cooking!” She went on to say that when she lived alone, making the family seder became a task that she could no longer accomplish on her own. “I thought my seder days were over,” she said. “Then I came to Kobernick and look, we have a seder, with friends, family and a delicious meal – with tzimmes, too!”

Living Our Legacy is written by Rabbi Emerita Barbara Aiello and features anecdotes about Jewish life on the Aviva Campus. You can contact her at

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