Passover (Pesach) 2024/5784

A Pesach Message from Rabbi Yerachmiel Shapiro​

Happy Spring! This is my favorite season of the year because everything good (in my opinion) is ahead of us. Good weather. The fun times of summer. The gradual bloom of every flower and every tree (ah-choo!). Spring is a season that feels like youth, like hope and unrealized potential. 

In Judaism, springtime is actually the beginning of the year. Nissan, the month of Passover, is always called “the first month” in the Torah. So why do we celebrate a formal “New Year” on Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh Hashana, which takes place on the first of Tishrei (the seventh month) is exactly the midpoint of the year. It is exactly six months from the first of Nissan.

A Pesach Message from Rabbi Eli Finkelstein


In the aftermath of the attacks of October 7th, Danya and I discussed the possibility of spending Pesach in Israel. Danya has two brothers who live in Israel with their families, and we knew the coming months would be incredibly difficult. If the rest of Danya’s family planned to go to Israel, we felt we should join them, to allow her brothers some normalcy and familial intimacy in a time of trouble and heartbreak.

I proposed this idea to Rabbi Shapiro a few months ago, knowing it meant he would be the only rabbi here for Pesach. He graciously agreed and gave me time off to go. So Danya, the two boys, and myself, will be spending Pesach in Jerusalem this year.

Schedule of Passover Services

Sunday, April 21, 8:20pm
Search for the chometz

Monday, April 22, 10:48am
Last time to eat chometz

Monday, April 22, 11:56pm
Last time to burn chometz

Shabbat, April 27
Women’s Megillah Reading (Shir Hashirim)

Tuesday, April 30, 10:30am
Yizkor Service

Wednesday, May 1, 8:40pm
Pesach ends

Wednesday, May 1, 9:00pm
You may eat personal chometz

Siyum For The Firstborn

Services for the first-born males will take place on Monday, April 22 at 7:00am to express thanks for the fact that the Hebrew first-born sons were spared from the 10th plague when the first-born Egyptian sons were slain.

Those present participate in a study period which follows Shacharit services. Many children are often at the service before going to school. Services begin at 7:00am and are completed by 8:15am.

Maot Chittim (Wheat Money) Matzah Fund

It is a mitzvah to collect funds before Passover to be given to needy families to help purchase Passover products. If you are able to give an extra few dollars to this worthwhile cause to help the needy among us, please send a check to the MMAE Matzah Fund. Your generous contribution will be very much appreciated.

If you need a seder to attend or financial help making Pesach, please email Rabbi Shapiro at rabbishapiro@mmae.org.

If you are hosting a seder and would be able to host one or two guests, please call the shul office at 410-653-7485.


Transfer/Sale of Chometz

In order to conform with the Laws of Passover, it is necessary to dispose of all chometz that one has on the premises. This is done by making arrangements with the Rabbi for the sale to a non-Jew by Monday, April 22 at 11:56am. Rabbi Shapiro will act as the agent for all who authorize him to do so. Chometz should not be eaten until the chometz is re-purchased on Wednesday, April 30 at 9:00pm.

It is customary to contribute to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund when submitting this form. Funds are used to help people with Passover purchases.

Please click below to download the form.

A Pesach Update from Rabbi Shapiro

The state of the shul is strong. At the same time, the world feels unstable. Someone told me that worldly instability is good for religion. Personally, I’d take a peaceful world over a big shul any day, but no one asked me. The most important religious and Jewish mitzvah right now is supporting and praying for Israel, the heroes of the Israeli Defense Forces, and the release of the hostages soon, please God. Our shul will continue to be there for Israel. Nothing will weaken that commitment. As a community, since October 7th we have supported Israel financially and with our advocacy. Each week in shul we pray together for Israel and the hostages. There is more we can do. Let’s find more ways to help Israel individually and as a congregation.

This year has seen the launch of the Rose and Harry Katz Jewish Music Venue at MMAE. We needed a long name to match with Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah-Aitz Chaim-Tifereth Israel-Liberty Jewish Center-Woodmoor Hebrew Congregation. We just had concert number 6.

I envision that someday soon, there will be people coming to hear music at our shul 2, 3, or even 4 nights a week. Collaborations will happen, artists will improve and become well known, and perhaps we will play a role in launching the careers of the great Jewish songwriters and bands of the future.

This is the beginning of a long journey. It is a journey to discover if we can create a powerful and relevant
Jewish musical community here in Baltimore. If we do, I think it will guarantee the future of our shul as well
as be a historic contribution to Jewish Baltimore and eventually have an effect on Judaism itself. Judaism has mostly lost an incredible music tradition which was so central to the Bais Hamikdash- The Holy Temple in
Jerusalem. The restoration of worship and revelation through sacred music are the ultimate goals of the Katz Music Venue.

The Rabbinic Residency Program has been a tremendous success. We have helped train and place 3 young
rabbis – Joel Dinin, Seth Herstic, and now Eli Finkelstein. It has been incredible to watch them grow as rabbis and it is certainly a source of joy and pride for our shul to get to welcome so many new rabbinic babies into the world and watch them grow. Their first taste of Judaism will always have been at a joyous and fun shul that
didn’t care if they made funny noises or crawled up on the bimah. I think we are providing a similar happy
experience to these rabbis as they begin their rabbinic lives. We’ve learned so much Torah from each of them and they became our rebbes, so it will be sad when Rabbi Eli and Danya and their beautiful family leave for Saint Louis. They will be missed.

Our Sylvia Rosenblatt Hebrew Unschool is flourishing as well. We have added additional classes for next year and will be building classrooms in currently unutilized space downstairs next to the venue. There are naming opportunities for each classroom as well as the whole campus, so please be in touch with me directly if you would like to make a meaningful financial contribution to our Hebrew School. We are the last Orthodox
Sunday School in Baltimore, but our future of teaching the next generation “happy MMAE Judaism” is very bright.

With the help of our great staff, our dedicated president and board, our active Brotherhood and Sisterhood, our hard working Kiddush staff and volunteers, and best of all, Chazzan Shlomo Abramson, our spiritual home MMAE will continue to grow and succeed. But nothing can happen without Hashem’s help, so we ask Hashem to continue to allow us to be the custodians of this holy congregation dedicated to God’s Torah and Mitzvos.

May we be blessed with strength, success, and most of all, the gift of peace!

Message from President Jeff Forman

The story of Pesach is about Hashem taking the Jewish people from Egypt, out of slavery and starting the journey to Israel, the promised land. We see Hashem’s hand in the miracles along the way – the splitting of the sea, the daily manna to eat, and fresh water to drink, and the conquest of those who would attack us.

Today, in the wake of the deadly October 7 attack and the horrific holding of so many innocent citizens, we look to Hashem for more miracles to protect and help the brave Israeli forces and the Israeli government defeat Hamas like we defeated Amalek, and bring home the remaining hostages safe and sound.

We are not in Israel, but MMAE has stepped up to do its part. We raised almost $10,000 for security in Neve Daniel, the home to our beloved Cantor Shlomo Abramson and his family. We marched in Washington. We pray every day at Shacharis for the safety and return of the hostages, and we recite the names of the hostages every Shabbos as we beseech Hashem to bring them home. I am proud to be the president of a shul that does these things. Ours is a congregation that rises to the occasion.

I join you in a hoping that soon and speedily, our prayers will be answered, and that the enemy will be no more. But in the meantime, as we sit around the Seder table, let’s keep in mind those who are not able to be around a Seder table – the soldiers, the hostages, and those who were taken from us.

Joan and I wish everyone a safe and spiritually uplifting Pesach.

Message from Chairman Bob Meyerson

I can’t believe its that time again getting ready to celebrate Passover; greatest time of the year for many of us. Gathering together with family and friends is always a great experience. We have so much to celebrate and be thankful for.

The new “music venue” is live and open for business. Our growing and fabulous Hebrew School is the talk of the town, something for all of us to be very proud of, and is our children’s future.

Of course, our shul is also growing thanks to the spiritual leadership of our beloved Rabbi Shapiro, along with our associate rabbi, Rabbi Finkelstein. As for Rabbi Finkelstein, he will be leaving us in July and heading west. We all wish him and his family all the best. Taking the next step in life’s journey is not only exciting, but also chal-lenging. I know he will more then meet those challenges. He and his family will be very much missed.

Marilyn and I hope your Seder is meaningful, where ever it may be, and wish one and all a Ziesen Pesach.