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Understanding Passover: A Guide for Carers at FeelCare Home Care Services



As many of our care workers support clients within the Jewish community, it’s important to understand the significant traditions and observances that come with Passover. This guide will help you appreciate the customs your clients may observe, ensuring we provide culturally sensitive and supportive care during this meaningful time.

 

What is Passover?

 

Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is an eight-day festival that commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, as described in the Book of Exodus. This year, Passover 2024 begins at sundown on Monday, April 22nd and ends the evening of Tuesday, April 30th.

 

Key Traditions of Passover

 

1. The Seder: The highlight of Passover is the Seder, conducted on the first two nights of the holiday. It involves a ceremonial dinner where the story of the exodus is retold through readings from a book called the Haggadah. The Seder includes eating symbolic foods placed on a Seder plate, such as matzah (unleavened bread), bitter herbs, and charoset (a sweet paste representing the mortar used by the Israelites as slaves).

 

2. Matzah: During the entire eight days of Passover, leavened bread (chametz) is not consumed. Instead, matzah, which is flat and unleavened, is eaten. This is to remember the haste with which the Israelites fled Egypt, leaving no time for their bread to rise.

 

3. Cleaning the Home: In the weeks leading up to Passover, families thoroughly clean their homes to remove any chametz. This meticulous cleaning culminates in a ceremonial search for chametz on the evening before Passover begins.

 

How Carers Can Support During Passover

 

- Respect Dietary Restrictions: Be mindful of dietary restrictions, especially the avoidance of chametz. Familiarise yourself with kosher-for-Passover products and ingredients if you are involved in preparing meals.

 

- Understand the Seder: If your care duties coincide with Seder nights, be aware that the evening can be quite long and is filled with specific rituals and readings. Clients may appreciate your help in setting up the Seder plate or simply understanding the order of events so you can assist more effectively.

 

- Be Supportive of Rituals: Clients may have specific customs or rituals they perform during Passover. Asking them about their traditions and how they observe this holiday can provide valuable insights into their personal and spiritual needs during this time.

 

- Provide Emotional and Social Support: Passover is a time when many families come together to celebrate, and some of your clients might feel isolated if they are unable to join family festivities. Being there to listen, engage, and share in their observance as much as possible can make a significant difference.

 

At FeelCare Home Care Services, we are committed to providing compassionate and culturally sensitive care. By understanding and respecting the traditions of Passover, you enhance the quality of care you provide and enrich the experience of our clients observing this sacred time.

 

Thank you for your continued dedication and sensitivity. Your role in our clients' lives becomes even more impactful during these important cultural moments. Let’s continue to learn from each other and grow in our service to all communities. From Christine, FeelCare Founder

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