Passover, or Pesach, is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, commemorating the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and their liberation from slavery. While traditionally observed at home, many Jews are now opting to spend the holiday abroad, immersing themselves in different cultures while still honoring their traditions. In 2024, there are numerous destinations where one can enjoy both the rich historical significance and scenic beauty. Here are some top picks:
1. Jerusalem, Israel
Experience Passover at Its Heart
- Highlights: Participate in a traditional Seder in the ancient city, walk the stations of the Via Dolorosa, and immerse yourself in the Western Wall’s spiritual ambiance.
- Activities: Take guided tours of the Old City, visit Yad Vashem, and explore the Israel Museum.
2. Marrakech, Morocco
Discover Sephardic Traditions in a Historic Setting
- Highlights: Morocco’s Jewish history is deep-rooted, and Marrakech’s Jewish Quarter is an ideal place to learn about Sephardic Passover traditions.
- Activities: Wander around the Saadian Tombs, explore the Majorelle Garden, and visit the old Jewish Mellah.
3. Costa Rica
Combine Nature with Passover Retreats
- Highlights: Numerous resorts in Costa Rica offer kosher for Passover programs, with luxuries including private Seders and kosher chefs.
- Activities: Explore the rainforests, visit Arenal Volcano, or relax on the pristine beaches.
4. Tuscany, Italy
Pesach in Picturesque Vineyards
- Highlights: Sip kosher wine from the region’s vineyards and indulge in Italian-Jewish fusion cuisine.
- Activities: Visit Florence’s historic synagogues, take a Tuscan cooking class, and explore the rolling countryside.
5. New York City, USA
Urban Pesach in the Big Apple
- Highlights: With one of the largest Jewish populations in the world, NYC is brimming with kosher restaurants and Passover events.
- Activities: Attend a Broadway show, take a stroll in Central Park, or visit Ellis Island to trace Jewish migration.
6. Cape Town, South Africa
Passover with a View of Table Mountain
- Highlights: Cape Town’s Jewish community is active and welcoming, offering a unique African Pesach experience.
- Activities: Hike or take the cable car to Table Mountain, visit the Cape Point, and explore the Jewish Museum.
7. Budapest, Hungary
Central European Passover Charm
- Highlights: Dive into the rich Jewish history, including the storied Dohány Street Synagogue, one of the largest in the world.
- Activities: Relax in the famed thermal baths, stroll along the Danube River, and savor traditional Hungarian-Jewish dishes.
8. Gold Coast, Australia
Down Under Passover Experience
- Highlights: The burgeoning Jewish community here ensures a warm Pesach atmosphere, combined with the beauty of the Australian coast.
- Activities: Surf at some of the world’s best beaches, visit theme parks, and explore the lush hinterland.
Passover is a time of reflection, celebration, and family. Whether you’re seeking a historically rich experience or a relaxed beach retreat, the world offers countless destinations to observe Pesach in a memorable way. Choose your ideal spot and make Passover 2024 one for the books!