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Pesach away from family

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The absence of family always becomes magnified around the High Holy days. When one emigrates, you get used to missing out on spending time with your siblings, parents and extended family on a regular basis. That’s not to say it gets any easier. It simply becomes the new normal.
by KIM NOVICK, SYDNEY | Apr 06, 2017

However, the prospect of sitting at a table for a seder with no family, or worse, with a group of strangers, is not something any relocated family looks forward to. Happily, this is when the community is at its best and most beautiful.

No expat will be alone over Pesach. We gather whatever family we have (no matter how often we do or don’t see them) as well as friends who have no family and we make sure the seder table is filled with camaraderie, food and joy.

For an immigrant, good friends forge bonds as close as real family and there are many who will not spend a High Holy day without each other. We are each other’s very loved and cherished family substitutes.  

Ari and Kim Novick
We arrived in Sydney just over five years ago and have an unspoken yet understood rule that we spend Pesach with Ari’s brother and sister-in-law, Dan and Liora Novick.

They have been in Sydney for around 16 years and there is no question that we spend at least first night with them. Others join us, those who may have no family or are close friends, but we don’t make any plans for first night without each other.

It’s a newly established tradition that is the mark of making a firm footprint in our new world. 

Larry and Tessa Dorfan
Pesach is always spent with Larry’s family. It’s difficult not being able to celebrate chags with loved ones, but the new friends made abroad, become the extended family.

We always celebrate with friends and other family members who have emigrated. New friends made abroad become the family which has been left behind. Usually the children are of the same age and it's a wonderful, happy gathering.  

Ryan and Samantha Rubinstein
Until this year when Ryan’s sister moved to Sydney, we had no family here. We were quickly gathered up by old friends who have been in Sydney for some time and have never been alone for Pesach.

Everyone looks after each other. This year will be no different, but it will be a treat to have Ryan’s sister and her daughter to celebrate with us. Friends become so important when you move to a new country. We have each other’s backs. 

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