Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

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Our readers spring holidays were very different under the coronavirus shelter-at-home orders this year.

Easter egg hunts were restricted to backyards, sunrise services were canceled and live-streamed instead, and families who were unable to gather celebrated Seders and Easter dinners on Zoom.

That doesn’t mean the traditions weren’t as meaningful, and perhaps in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, they were more important than ever. Here’s a few excerpts, but click through the slideshow above to see and hear more about how local families spent their holidays.

Doug Williams: “Here in Oakland, California, Doug Williams is not having any celebrations, but he and his wife Sheri are having a wonderful time exploring rarely seen corners of their own home, and sending postcards to friends and family! So far, we have been passed over by the pandemic, and are grateful at home.”

Nancy Ross-Madnick, of Orinda, who celebrated with husband Seth. “Ross family Zoom Seder, which we called our ‘Zeder.’ We had 42 family members participating, with ages ranging from four months to 90-years-old. Family joined from New York, New Jersey, Nevada and California. It has been a long time since we were able to have that many members of our extended family together, even if it was virtual, and we never had a Seder this large. We all were skeptical at first but ended up enjoying it immensely. In fact, my 90-year-old mom, Irene Ross, said it was the best Seder she’s ever been to. Our daughter Meredith took the photo and served as our tech support.”

Joyce Kiefer: “My family Zoomed in from four states, Utah, California, Washington, and Wyoming, for a virtual Easter egg hunt in my backyard. I hid fake eggs and panned the area with my iPad. I kept score of who was the first to spot each egg, although with 13 people, many of the finds were simultaneous. My eagle-eyed granddaughter who always found the most eggs as a kid was the one to spot the metal egg with the $5.00 reward from the virtual Easter Bunny. We then visited for the next hour. Great day!”

Merlin Dorfman: “We had our Seder on Saturday evening this year. Our daughter Stephanie Sur is a veterinarian and thus an essential worker. It would have been rushed and far from relaxed to have the Seder on Wednesday evening, the start of Passover. As usual for us, the ceremony consisted of a highly abbreviated reading of the Haggadah with Manischewitz for the adults who like it, wine of choice for the other adults, and grape juice for the
children. The main dish was turkey, which is highly non-traditional, but the traditional salt water, parsley, egg,
horseradish, lamb shank, etc., were on the table.”

Thanks for your submissions loyal readers, and hope everyone had a nice holiday!


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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