Passover: Virtual Seder platform rolls out upgrades ahead of 2021 holiday

Synagogues, congregations and communal groups can now host Seders with up to 1,000 participant screens.

Passover seder settings at the David Citadel Hotel. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Passover seder settings at the David Citadel Hotel.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
With Passover less than a week away, COVID-19 continues to impact travel and in-person gatherings. But like in 2020, the free digital platform Yahad is available to provide a meaningful, virtual Seder experience – this time, with some new upgrades.
The platform comes with an expanded selection of nearly 50 Haggadot, covering the wide range of languages, religious varieties and ethnicities in the Jewish community. There is also a new split-screen feature, allowing participants to follow along with the Seder at their own pace but also maintain a table-like atmosphere by allowing them to see and speak with fellow participants.
There are also now functions to designate Seder leaders and allowing users to jump between Haggadot.
But what stands out the most among the new updates is the capability for use by synagogues, congregations and communal groups by allowing Seders to host up to 1,000 participant screens.
Parties looking to hold an expanded Seder or coordinate specialized events like museums and Jewish centers can contact the Jewish Heritage Network (JHN), which developed Yahad, at [email protected]
During 2020, Yahad was used to host over 230 virtual Seders as the coronavirus pandemic forced Jews to refrain from traveling and communal gatherings. It was developed over the course of six weeks, once it became clear that much the world would enter lockdown.
“Passover has always been very special to me and my family,” JHN CEO Pavel Kats said in a statement. "The Seder was the single Jewish holiday celebration that my generally secular Soviet-Jewish family gathered together for each year. While the rest of us would connect with one another, my grandfather would quietly recite the Seder from the Haggadah he had kept hidden while in Russia. Looking back all these years later, I realize how important that Jewish encounter was for my entire family.
“When I realized the pandemic would impede Jews’ ability throughout the world to celebrate, I wanted to use my technology experience to help families and friends unite from wherever they might be in order to continue the holiday’s traditions.”
For information on hosting a virtual Seder, visit Yahad's website.