Seder tables include matzah from Ukraine

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Each year, Chabad of Islip Township distributes hundreds of pounds of shmurah matzah to the local Jewish community.

With Ukraine being from the world’s largest suppliers of wheat, many matzah bakeries around the world export their wheat from there, under strict rabbinic supervision. While Chabad of Islip usually gets their large matzah order from Israel, the Jewish homeland, this year the matzah distributed and to be eaten at seder tables throughout Islip Township will be from a bakery in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

Ukraine is home to a large Jewish population, by some estimates over 300,000 Jewish people. Today they are facing unprecedented war, hunger, and a refugee crisis. And if the Midwest is known as America’s breadbasket, Ukraine is Europe’s breadbasket, with their bakeries making some of the finest shmurah matzah.

There is currently a large shortage of this special handmade matzah, due to the war in Ukraine. But thanks to early planning, the matzah from Ukraine arrived in Islip before the invasion began.

According to rabbi Shimon Stillerman, “Friends and supporters of Chabad of Islip donated generously to our appeal for Ukraine, raising over $18,000. This helped finance over two buses of refugees! Our community saved lives.”

Stillerman added his thoughts before Passover: “This year, as we celebrate our freedom, and the blessings we are fortunate to have living in America, let us remember our brothers and sisters in Ukraine who baked these matzahs. Let us hope and pray that they, too, will be able to enjoy their matzah in true freedom.

“The large distribution of shmurah matzah by Chabad of Islip is a huge project, with many volunteers. This undertaking is done as part of our all-encompassing Passover campaign, influenced by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, to make sure that every Jewish home has all their Passover needs, and that every Jew has a place for the seder. There is a welcoming place for you at the Chabad 5 Star community seder; let us know you’re joining us by visiting chabadofislip.com/passover or calling 631-913-8770.”

The eight-day Jewish holiday of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, April 15-23, 2022. Passover (Pesach) commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Pesach is observed by avoiding leaven, and highlighted by the seder meals that include four cups of wine, eating matzah and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of the Exodus.

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