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Unleavened Alaska: Passover in the Last Frontier

From: Rebecca Sheir
Series: Soundbites: A Series On Food
Length: 05:40

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When it comes to Passover, why is this state different from all other states?

Salmongefilte_small The Jewish holiday of Passover commemorates the Israelites' liberation from slavery and exodus from Egypt. The story goes that because the Israelites had to leave in such a hurry, they didn't have time to let their bread rise. So, for eight days -- seven in Israel -- observers of Passover refrain from consuming anything that's risen, or "leavened" - such as bread, cake, cookies, pasta, even beer. What can be consumed are items deemed "kosher for Passover." And each year, you can find a number of these items available on store shelves. ...Unless, of course, you live somewhere like Alaska. In this story, Rebecca Sheir explores the trials and tribulations of Passover in the Last Frontier, and learns that even though this state is more than a little different from all other states, some things -- like freedom, and family -- forever stay the same.

Piece Description

The Jewish holiday of Passover commemorates the Israelites' liberation from slavery and exodus from Egypt. The story goes that because the Israelites had to leave in such a hurry, they didn't have time to let their bread rise. So, for eight days -- seven in Israel -- observers of Passover refrain from consuming anything that's risen, or "leavened" - such as bread, cake, cookies, pasta, even beer. What can be consumed are items deemed "kosher for Passover." And each year, you can find a number of these items available on store shelves. ...Unless, of course, you live somewhere like Alaska. In this story, Rebecca Sheir explores the trials and tribulations of Passover in the Last Frontier, and learns that even though this state is more than a little different from all other states, some things -- like freedom, and family -- forever stay the same.

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Antsy for Passover

Oh what a fun little piece! It put me right in the Passover mood. It also reminded me of being in rural New Zealand during Passover one year, and an unsuccessful matzoh hunt that ensued. These Alaskan Jews show how making do without Manischewitz can make celebrating Passover all the more meaningful.

Broadcast History

An alternate version of this story originally aired on April 12, 2008, on the Alaska Public Radio Network's weekly magazine show, "AK."

Related Website

http://akradio.org