How is this Night Different from All Other Nights?

passover divorce childrenFor Israeli families affected by divorce, the Passover season can be a trying time of year.

Consider these three individuals both in Israel and in the US, who asked that their real names not be used. A divorced mother of two toddlers, Jennifer says the Passover seder does nothing to bring her children closer to their father, who lives across the US continent and has hardly seen his kids since the split. Jennifer herself has become Orthodox since the divorce two years ago, and so can no longer attend her parents’ non-kosher seder. Ever since her marriage broke up, she says, the festival of freedom has been “a very sore point for all of us.”

Last time Susan put together a seder in Israel, she tried bringing all the “steps” together: her mother and step-father, her father and step-mother, plus her husband’s mother and step-father. It was, she says, “quite a scene” one for which, not she or her ex, created tension but her parents.

Jessica’s parents divorced when she was seven years old. She remembers splitting Pesach between mom’s English-language seder, stocked with non-Jewish guests, and dad’s Orthodox affair, done all in Hebrew. She says she never felt at home in either setting. …

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