Matzo ball soup is a traditional start to the Passover Seder.

Passover, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the exodus from Egypt that Moses led through the desert, begins on the evening of Wednesday, April 8, with the traditional holiday feast, the Seder.

We’re seeing a lot of humorous memes circulating on the internet about the irony of in-person Passover seders being canceled because of a plague (the 10 plagues are a pivotal part of the Seder service), but we’re determined not to let this beautiful age-old tradition pass us by. We’ll be holding our Seder with loved ones in Sarasota and Washington, D.C., through the miracle of modern technology—don’t ask me how, our son is setting it all up—and our granddaughter called us the other day on FaceTime to read us the Four Questions in Hebrew.   

If you don’t want to brave a trip to the grocery store to find Passover staples like matzo, gefilte fish and horseradish, you have a few kosher-style (bot not strictly kosher) options:

Nellie’s Deli will offer matzo balls and matzo ball soup, tsimmes, potato kugel and chopped liver all made from scratch by owner Craig Pohl, as well as brisket and turkey. It even offers a complete Seder plate to-go with the shank bone, parsley, hard-boiled egg and haroset—ceremonial foods that symbolize the hardships endured by the exodus from Egypt. To reserve yours, call (941) 924-2705, ext. 18, by Friday, April 3. There will be some last-minute dishes to-go to pick up in the Nellie’s Deli market if you find yourself in a pinch.

TooJay’s has roasted chicken, brisket, matzo ball soup, carrot tsimmes, potato latkes and more for pickup at its Westfield Siesta Key location. For dessert, because leavened bread and pastries are not eaten on Passover, TooJay’s offers almond cake, coconut macaroons and chocolate macaroons. Order online here.

Morton’s Gourmet Market offers braised brisket with dried apricots and plums, roasted chicken with citrus and ginger, plus sides like matzo ball soup, matzo kugel and lots more. To order, call (941) 955-9856, ext. 4, by Monday for Wednesday pick-up, or Sunday for home delivery.

Through its new Michael’s at Home pick-up and delivery service, Michael’s on East is offering a full Passover Seder meal, with everything from the Seder plate to flourless chocolate cake. Order here by noon on Monday, April 6.

Fresh Start Cafe is also offering a complete Seder meal—matzo ball soup, brisket, vegetables, salad and a Passover chocolate cake, for $25 per person, for pickup at its downtown location. Order by phone at (941) 373-1242 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. by this Sunday, April 6.

And, finally, if you find yourself at home yearning for the company of others on Passover, Temple Emanu-El is extending an invitation to join its livestream Seders at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, and a special second night family Seder at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. When you go to the synagogue's website, click on the "Livestream" button at the top right. You can follow along without a Hagaddah, but if you email info@sarasotatemple.org and write Request for Hagaddah in the subject line, a PDF of a Hagaddah written by Rabbi Brenner Glickman will be emailed to you.

Chag sameach, everyone. 

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