For the third straight year, matzah will be flowing through the aisles as “Passover in the Aisles” will take place this Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Shadyside and Village Square Giant Eagle.
“Passover in the Aisles” is organized by the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh’s Outreach Network; local organizations and agencies are collaborating on the program as well.
Rhonda Horvitz, United Jewish Federation’s community outreach coordinator, said that the goal of the program is to bring the holiday to the community in a fun, interactive way and provide a public display of local Jewish flavor.
“We’re trying to present the holiday to the community in a very public way, and to build excitement around celebrating Passover.
“The Pittsburgh Jewish community works together as team,” she continued. “You will have Chabad, Conservative, Reform, everybody side by side together for the same goal of outreach.”
Eighteen different organizations are participating in Sunday’s event, which will offer much more than just free boxes of matzah.
Information will be available from each of the organizations, as well as lots more entertainment in the aisles.
“We will have an area called, “Ask the Rabbi,” where local rabbis will answer questions about the holiday,” Horvitz said. “The event will be celebrated with live music, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, a balloon artist and a free raffle giveaway. I hope participants will also learn about the many organizations and agencies our Jewish community has to offer.”
There will also be a kosher food demonstration and tasting station at both of the Giant Eagles so that people can get ideas about what to serve at their seder and throughout the Passover holiday.
Horvitz said that Giant Eagle deserves tremendous gratitude for all of their work with this annual event; the chain is donating all of the matzah given out Sunday.
In tough financial times it was uncertain if Giant Eagle would be able to donate the matzah, something they had done the previous two years.
“We were afraid Giant Eagle wasn’t sure if they were able to donate, but they were able to,” Horvtiz said. “If they weren’t doing it for free, it would have affected us. We wouldn’t have had the money.”
Horvitz hopes that Sunday’s event gets the whole community involved and working together to begin celebrating Passover.
“It’s all about the community collaborating together,” she said.
(Mike Zoller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)