That’s a lotta matzoh! Brighton Jewish center feeds 300 at Passover food giveaway

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It was a matzoh mitzvah!

Volunteers from the Warbasse Jewish Heritage Center in Brighton Beach handed out more than 500 boxes of matzoh to community members on April 17 ahead of Passover. Doors were supposed to close at 4 pm but the shul had such a big turnout — its biggest in five years of doing the food drive — that volunteers continued to give away the Pesach staple well past 5 pm, said Warbasse’s Rabbi.

“It was excellent, it was really a good turnout,” said Rabbi David Okunov. “We had over 300 people, they kept coming, we didn’t close the doors until 5:30 pm.”

The shul even hopes to continue distributing the unleavened bread once Passover begins next week, according synagogue vice president Felix Wadiche, who volunteered on Sunday.

“We may even do it next week during the holiday,” he said.

The eight-day holiday comes with dietary proscriptions against eating leavened bread and a host of other grain products — and eating matzoh is part of the traditional Seder dinner. But kosher-for-Passover matzoh can run upwards of $20 dollars per pound, so the shul handed out the holiday nosh so locals could keep kosher regardless of financial capability, said Okunov.

“We don’t want people to have to make a choice, we don’t want people to have to challenge their decisions based on the price,” he said. “We want to give people the opportunity to celebrate with pride, joy, and dignity.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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