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Passover with the Riveras: How they are adapting amid the coronavirus pandemic

Erica and Geraldo Rivera plan to adapt their traditional Seder DINNER to virtually connect with family near and far

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — The Jewish holiday of Passover begins at sundown Wednesday. Normally, it's a time for large gatherings of family and friends.

Erica and Geraldo Rivera usually look forward to hosting a big celebration, but plans have changed this year, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Passover is my favorite holiday because we get together with family friends and our family and we get all the cousins together and the kids," Erica Rivera told 3News, "[this year] I’m sad to not have my mom at the table, my brother and his wife and their kids …"

The Riveras will spend the holiday at home in Shaker Heights with their daughter Sol. But they plan to connect with family near and far over video conferencing.

"I'm glad we have a fourteen-year-old because they wouldn't have any idea how to do any of this stuff," joked Geraldo Rivera.

Even shopping for the Seder dinner has looked quite different this year.

"We’ve got to ration out the matzah, we only have one box of matzah...so we're gonna have to find a way to get my hands on more," she said.

"I'm going to figure out curbside pickup and shop through Instacart or Prime Now and and I have this new recipe that's amazing - Martha Stewart's toffee covered matzah." 

Like always, these holiday memories will endure. This year, perhaps more poignant than others. And like so many others, the Riveras are determined to stay connected, just in an unexpected way.

"It brings me a lot of comfort that we have access to Zoom and FaceTime and you can call each other and still try to go through the Hagaddah [prayer book] together. We'll see what happens but I know that we'll be able to touch base with everyone and and that would be really special and memorable," Erica said.

"I think the main thing is that we're all in this together, and this is a Jewish holiday, Sunday would be the Christian holiday. it's all the same, we're all in it together," Geraldo added.

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