From Israel, New York, LA to London, Paris, Rome Jews Celebrate Passover on Facebook

By Herb Brandon
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel --- April 6, 2012 .... One just might call it the largest Passover Seder table in the world. From Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to New York and London, thousands of Jewish Internet surfers are uploading Passover stories, photos, recipes and videos on Facebook.

"Passover is all about family and Facebook is helping to bring families and friends together on this special Jewish holiday," says Internet and social media pioneer Joel Leyden.

"What we are witnessing now is the upside of social media. Where once upon a time families and friends were separated by miles and borders, today you can simply turn on your laptop, iPad or iPhone and be a part of a Seder which is taking place thousands of miles away."

Leyden, a PR crisis communications consultant who created the first commercial Website in Israel, the first Website for the Israel Defense Forces and the Office of the Prime Minister has created a group on Facebook entitled Happy Passover.

On this social media page one can upload a wide variety of content and share this Passover content with thousands of friends around the globe.

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. This Jewish holiday commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

"Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have made it possible for us to eat matzah, turkey and pass the wine and honey around the world while we celebrate Passover," says Leyden. "The time zones and cultures are very different. In Israel families are now preparing for the Passover Seder which will take place only once in Israel. After this Seder those living in Israel will be on vacation for a week, taking families to the green north or for a trek in the biblical desert. In New York, Toronto, Buenos Aires and Madrid, in the Diaspora, Passover is celebrated twice with two Passover dinners. The accent is more on the prayer and food than on a holiday around the country."

So what will the digital Passover Haggadah look like in years to come?

"I am hoping to coordinate Passover events around the world with families in Israel video conferencing with Skype and sharing their Seders with those in LA, Montreal and Brussels. We have the technology to bring the Jewish nation together for all holidays. So why not?"

Leyden adds, that social media is also helping to assist the Jewish poor.

"There are many non-profit organizations such as Yad Ezra V'Shulamit and Meir Panim in Israel and UJA-Federation of New York, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) based in the US which collect moneys, donations through social media Websites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and use these moneys to feed those suffering from poverty. Social media can save lives and feed children. We need to click on these non-profit organizations and give what we can.
This is the very definition of these holidays. Whether it be Passover or Easter, these are the times to celebrate freedom, love and humanitarism by helping those less fortunate."



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