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Passover at K.I.

Passover celebrations mark the beginning of spring on the Jewish calendar. Intense preparations precede the holiday of our freedom, which begins with two festive seders. Below please find information about preparing for Passover and service and programming times at Knesset Israel.

Preparing for Passover:

The Rabbinical Assembly publishes an annual Passover guide about kosher-for-Passover food and best practices for making a kitchen and home ready for the holiday. The best bet for Passover shopping in the area is the Stop & Shop market on Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield. Click here for more information about finding kosher food in the Berkshires.

Preparation for Passover involves cleaning out all the hametz - leaven - from our homes. We encourage people to discard open hametz and to donate unopened hametz to a local food pantry, such as the South Community Food Pantry in Pittsfield, in which KI is a partner. There are sometimes reasons (hard-to-reach crumbs, expensive grain liquor) to sell what might remain, rather than donate it or discard it, so that it will not be in your possession during the holiday. To appoint Rabbi Weiner as the agent to sell your hametz, click here. This particular sale works best for hametz in the Northeast.

Passover Programming:

Knesset Israel Families Together offers a Passover program for families in conjunction with Hebrew School - Sunday, April 6, 10-noon. While parents explore Trans Halakha with visiting rabbinical student Ariel Dunat, children will bake matza from scratch with Rabbi Weiner and explore other Passover related themes with Ellen Masters. Please RSVP. (Major funding provided by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation)

First Night Seder:

A first night seder presented by the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires takes place on Monday, April 22. Rabbi David Weiner  will lead the seder, which is catered by 518 Kosher. Please click here to sign up through the Jewish Federation. Scholarships are available - no one who wishes to attend seder will be turned away for financial hardship - please call the Jewish Federation (413) 442-4360 for more information.

Passover Service Times at Knesset Israel

Monday, April 22 – Eve of Passover/First Seder

Siyum for First-Born – with the Rabbinical Assembly

Festival Maariv - 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 23 - First Day of Passover/Second Seder

Festival Shaharit - 9:30 a.m.

No Zoom davening

Wednesday, April 24 – Second Day of Passover

Festival Shaharit - 9:30 a.m.

No Hebrew School

Thursday, April 25 – Third Day of Passover

Zoom Evening Davening - 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 26 – Fourth Day of Passover

Short Kabbalat Shabbat & Maariv  - 5:45 p.m.

Saturday, April 27 – Shabbat Hol HaMoed – Fifth Day of Passover

Shaharit - 9:30 a.m.

Hebrew School - 9-10:45 a.m.                

Sunday, April 28 – Sixth Day of Passover

Shaharit (Sunday Morning Minyan) - 8:45 a.m.

Monday, April 29 – Seventh Day of Passover

Festival Shaharit - 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 30 – Eighth Day of Passover

Festival Shaharit - 9:30 a.m.

Torah Service & Yizkor (approximate time) - 10:30 a.m.

No Zoom Davening

Pesah Ritual Times in Pittsfield

  • Turn in Hametz sale form to the KI office by Friday, April 19
  • Search for Hametz on Sunday, April 21, after nightfall
  • Hametz burnt before 10:00 a.m. on Monday, April 22
  • Monday, April 22 – light candles no later than 7:25 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 23 – light* candles no earlier than 8:27 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 24 – havdala no earlier than 8:27 p.m.
  • Friday, April 26 – light candles no later than 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 27 – havdala no earlier than 8:31 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 28– light candles no later than 7:32 p.m.
  • Monday, April 29 – light* candles no earlier than 8:33 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 30 – havdala no earlier than 8:35 p.m.
  • Hametz consumed no earlier than 9:35 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30

*On the second night of the holiday or on a Friday night that immediately follows a day of the holiday, ‘light’ candles by transferring an existing flame to a new wick. Many leave a long-burning yahrzeit candle lit throughout the holiday for this purpose.

Sat, April 20 2024 12 Nisan 5784