By Leon A Smith
April 4, 2012
A happy Pesach to all my readers – assuming there are a few out there!. Once again Pesach is upon us and as I have referred to in previous years, I believe there is every possibility that Passover preparations and the changeover for the Festival are probably on the largest scale here at Nightingale than anywhere else. 8 dining rooms, 16 serveries, an enormous kitchen, the Garden Café, a staff dining room, various reminiscence kitchens, the Activities kitchen and much more. The logistical operation involves many many staff who have been preparing for weeks and even months. Kashering of the equipment in the kitchen, pre-ordering of vast quantities of food and matza, assisting residents to clear out their own chometz, staff training, recruitment of volunteers to conduct the sederim – all of this for 8 days!
Nightingale prides itself on this operation which is an excellent example of team work across our organisation. This year we will be inviting a number of guests who will be staying with us for the Passover period who will also have their own seder conduced by our Religious Coordinator Rafi Fuchs. He will also be conducting services throughout the Festival in our beautiful new synagogue.
Again, I return to an oft visited theme. Many of our residents will not necessarily have gone to such great lengths in preparation for the Festival of Passover. However regardless of how religious or otherwise many people may be, they are likely to have celebrated Passover in some form. Pesach to most of us means family – a family gathering and our own version of the seder. For some it’s a meal going on into the early hours having returned from synagogue; for others it’s no more than a special meal with slightly strange foods. It’s very much a warm and familial time.
Expenses at Nightingale increase considerably at this time because of the significant increase in the cost of Passover foods on a scale that I don’t think any family would like to imagine! Thanks go to those of our supporters who particularly help us at this time of year in recognition of these increased costs.
Finally my thanks go to Nightingale’s dedicated staff who have been working flat out for so long in preparation - and my thanks in advance for those of our staff who will be working late on Friday (which is also Good Friday) and Saturday to support our residents during the sederim.
The Festival I know will be greatly enjoyed by everybody here – but we will be breathing a sigh of relief when the Festival is all over. Then we will be thinking about Shavuot, Rosh Hashana and Succot!