UCL News


Celebrating Passover in the UCL community

24 March 2021

On the evening of Saturday 27 March, Jewish people worldwide will celebrate the festival of Passover, which commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

Matzah (unleavened bread)

The eight day festival is marked with a seder on the first and second nights (or the first night only by those living in Israel) – a ceremonial meal that retells the story of the escape from Egypt with four cups of wine and symbolic foods including matzah (unleavened bread) and maror (bitter herbs).

One key feature of Passover is far-reaching dietary changes for the duration of the festival, to ensure that those observing it are complying with the requirement to avoid any leavened foods. Prior to Passover, homes are also cleaned thoroughly to ensure no leaven is present.

The first and final two days have additional restrictions on the type of activities that are allowed to be done. Staff and students who observe Passover are not able to work on these days and should be supported with flexibility as needed.

Like last year, Passover 2021 takes place under Covid restrictions which will limit celebrations. Anyone celebrating alone this year may be interested in the ‘Seder To Go’ kit offered by Chabad of Bloomsbury. The Union of Jewish Students also publishes A Student’s Guide to Passover.

UCL wishes all who celebrate a happy and kosher Passover.