Category Archives: Passover

Join in on this 4-part learning series with Rabbi Tom at Panera in Crystal Lake

Join Rabbi Tom Samuels for a four-part series exploring the foundational story of the Jewish people.

Sessions 1, 3 and 4 will be held in the meeting room at: Panera Bread, 6000 Northwest Hwy, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Session 2 will be held at MCJC.

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

We look forward to learning with you in these free pre-Passover sessions. Non-members welcome.

RSVP requested.

MCJC Community Passover Seder 2nd Night . . . Celebrate!

If you have not yet signed up for the MCJC Seder, there’s still time to sign up online! We extended the online reservation and payment deadline:


MCJC invites you to our table
as we carry on the tradition
of hosting our

Second Night
Community Passover Seder
Saturday, April 20, 2019, 6:00 pm

McHenry County Jewish Congregation
8617 Ridgefield Road, Crystal Lake, IL 60012 

Cost: $20 per adult; $10 per child (ages 4-12)
$60 max. per family 

RSVP HERE by April 18, 2019


Second Night Community Passover Seder
Saturday, March 31
6:30-8:30 pm

MCJC invites you to our table as we carry on the tradition of hosting our Second Night Community Passover Seder at MCJC. RSVP Here.

Other Passover Updates at MCJC

If you have a university student in your household for whom you wish a Passover box be sent to (Matzah, macaroons, and other Passover-related goodies) on behalf of the MCJC community, please let Jill Purvin know at

We are looking for volunteers to help kasher MCJC’s
kitchen for Passover. We’ll meet on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at 9:00 am. For more information or to volunteer please contact the MCJC office at

Passover is coming…search for the Chametz!

BJennifer Schwartz, MCJC Religious School Lead Teacher

One of my favorite memories is finding the chametz before Pesach with my Papa.  We would hide small chunks of bread throughout the house on napkins; then we’d take a flashlight and go back through for a seek-and-destroy mission.  The chunks of bread would be swept into a paper bag and taken to our local shul to be burned the next day.

Why not start this tradition with your own family?  Customarily, the search for chametz (leavened food forbidden duing Passover) in the home is done with a beeswax candle, a wooden spoon, and a paper bag for collection.  Before collection, “hide” ten small pieces of bread throughout the house, wrapped in or on something flammable (no aluminum foil here guys). The hiding doesn’t even have to be done the day of the search!  Hide them before and adults can write down where they are, just in case. Make it a real mission for the kiddos!

The evening before Pesach, say the following prayer:

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai
E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam
A-sher Ki-de-sha-nu Be-mitz-vo-tav
Ve-tzi-va-nu Al Bee-ur Cha-metz.

Or, in translation:

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us concerning the removal of chametz.

Burning the Chametz

Next, have someone hold the lit candle and find all the hidden chametz, even ones you didn’t hide but you might just find!  The wooden spoon can be used to sweep the chametz into the bag. Once you’ve completed the search, gather the search party back together and recite the Kol Chamira:

All leaven or anything leavened which is in my possession, which I have neither seen nor removed, and of which I am unaware, shall be considered nullified and ownerless as the dust of the earth.

After this declaration is recited, all unknown chametz in your home will be considered nullified.  Your bag is now safe to be destroyed.

Chag pesach sameach and happy searching!

Passover 2018: It All Starts with a Question

Passover 2018: It All Starts with a Question

In the Jewish tradition, there’s a sense that everything gets moving as a result of a problem, a question, a Machloket in Hebrew. That even the most provocative question is still better than no question because, in the words of Rabbi Professor Donniel Hartman, questions, questioning, push at the limits of the sort of silent conspiracy of the way things have to be.


Upcoming Passover Programming at MCJC

On Sunday, March 11, at 10:00 am, our Religious School children will participate in a special hands-on Matzah-making workshop.

Our children will knead, roll and bake their own round hand-made Matzah as the ancient Hebrews did over 3,300 years ago. They will learn, experience and taste the tradition of eating hand-made Shmura Matzah on Pesach. Every child will be given a specially designed baker’s hat to wear and to keep as a souvenir.

For more information, see calendar listing on this site.

On Sunday, March 18, from 10:00 am to noon, our Religious School will join the other Fox Valley synagogue schools for a special Passover program held at Congregation Kneseth Israel (CKI) in ElginClick here to reserve your space.

For more information, see our calendar listing on this site.

On Saturday, March 31, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, we’ll get together for our MCJC’s Annual Second Night Community Passover Seder. RSVP Here

For more information, see our calendar listing on this site.