Over a year after war broke out in Ukraine, the Jewish community in the country is not giving up on celebrating Passover despite the difficult conditions.
In Odessa, which had suffered repeated Russian bombardments, 11 public Passover seders will be held, some attended by Jewish children and youth still in the city.
The central seder in Odessa will be led by Rabbi Avraham Wolff at the Londonskaya Hotel located on the city's main boulevard, an area classified as a closed military zone since the beginning of the war.
The hotel will be opened after special permission was given to celebrate the Jewish holiday there, in recognition of the tradition of more than 20 years.
According to estimates, 9,000 Jewish families remain in the city and will be provided with packages of kosher food for Passover including matzot.
Preparations are underway for the Jewish holiday in other cities in Ukraine, and in Kyiv, hundreds of participants are expected to attend public seders that will be held throughout the city.
As part of an initiative by the country's Chief Rabbi, Moshe Reuven Azman, a special seder dinner will be held in the Antakya resort village, named after the fictional town in Jewish folklore.
Jews located in areas, where no active community is present, are expected to arrive there for the celebration. Rabbi Azman expects hundreds of guests to arrive, and some will remain in the village throughout the holiday.
Azman said organizing the Passover Seder had its challenges. "it's very difficult to import kosher products for Passover, which requires extensive preparation and months of work in advance. We aren't discouraged and know that our efforts will be worth it," he said. "This gives us strength and motivation to allow as many Jewish people in Ukraine as possible to celebrate Passover according to tradition," he added.
The rabbi and the Jewish communities in Ukraine still have to deal with threats from the Russian airstrikes impacting the country. threatening the country. "According to government guideline, a curfew is enforces starting at 11 p.m. This means that we must prepare accordingly and end our seder early to allow people to return home before the curfew takes effect," he said.