How Residents Are Overcoming Stay-at-home to Spend Holidays Together

Community Life
virtual video chat on phone

Posted: April 10, 2020

Social distancing isn’t keeping residents at Holly Creek from participating in key spiritual celebrations. Thanks to video conferencing and the good work of our team members, residents are discovering creative ways to still celebrate special days like Passover and Easter while staying safely at home.

Last Wednesday, resident Anita Fricklas and seventeen members of her family and close friends celebrated Passover together in a brand new way—via Zoom.

“It was just incredible,” she shared later last week. “It felt just like we were all together around the same table.”

Anita started planning the special Seder several weeks ago as Holly Creek began to enact social distancing recommendations from the county and governor’s office.

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“Anita mentioned to me that she was trying to get her family together for an online Seder on Passover, and I was intrigued,” shared community Chaplain Jim Kok. Jim was invited to join Anita’s family for the event (at a safe 6+ feet distance), and thanks to Holly Creek’s dining director, they were both were able to participate with their own complete Seder plates and wine.

Anita’s Seder plate, complete with traditional components like boiled egg and horseradish.

“We started around 5:15,” Anita shared. “We all had access to the same Haggadah, so we were all able to read along and participate just like we were together around the same table.”

The first part of the evening was spent in readings and discussion over Zoom.

Then, Anita explained, “We took 45 minutes for dinner, which is always part of the Seder anyways, and joined back afterwards for a second session. We always sing a bunch of songs at the end. That part was hysterical—You can imagine trying to do a sing-along in all different places over the internet!”

Even though they weren’t all physically in the same space, the experience was ultimately even better than Anita had hoped.

 

“We all agreed that the best part was that we were all together. I have to say that this Sedar was probably the most special we’ve

ever had, because people really thought about it and set aside the time to participate. And we could still all see each other’s faces, which was huge.” One of Anita’s granddaughters even started the giving of family “air hugs.”

“We could all see her hug, and we could feel it—you know! I can’t even describe it. It was terrific.”

Chaplain Jim Kok couldn’t agree more. “It was a delight to see and hear how this family loves each other, how they laugh together, and how the themes of the Seder, such as perseverance, faith, and compassion resonate so well for the times we live in today.”

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