Getting Ready for Pesah

Rabbi Barry Dov Katz will arrange a post-Pesah hametz "buy-back" on Saturday, April 7, at 9:15 PM. Do not use or unpack your hametz before then.

A Message from Rabbi Katz

While some people grew up watching family members prepare for the holidays, others are just now exploring the ways these rituals help make Jewish values concrete. Whether you are a "veteran" of Pesah cleaning or a newcomer, I hope that some of the resources here will help you.
For detailed instructions on making your home kosher for Passover, go to:

Also see inside this Synagram for my notes about the Rabbinical Assembly Guidelines.
Additionally, inside this Synagram are some readings to make your seder (or seder preparations) interesting. I hope that all this makes sense and is helpful - and does not make Pesah feel too overwhelming!

I LOVE QUESTIONS ABOUT PESAH, so, no matter what your level of experience, I hope that you will call me. I look forward to helping you craft a Pesah that is memorable for you and the people you love.

Hag Kasher V'Sameah! A Kosher and Happy Passover!

Rabbi Barry Dov Katz

P.S. This Pesah...Be a Host or Be a Guest: If you would like to be a guest at a seder, or if you can host additional guests at your first or second seder, please call the shul office, 718-543-8400 by Friday March 16, 2018.

Guide to Kosher Foods and Preparing Your Home for Passover

A few years ago, the Rabbinical Assembly updated its Pesah guide, bringing it into line with current information about food manufacturing and modern appliances. It offers a fuller explanation of some of the laws of Pesah.

There are some significant changes in this guide as compared with the guides I have provided in past years. Some will make preparing for Pesah a bit easier, others will make it a bit more challenging. On the whole, I like the approach of the Guide and offer it to you as a Pesah resource.

I do have a few reactions to specifics of the Guide and offer them to you as well. My reactions are based on my own experience and research into how various rabbis and rabbinical organizations approach these questions. Before you read the guide, please take note of my comments below. Some disagree with the Guide, others clarify or add material not found in the Guide.


  • In the section on Kashering of Kitchen Appliances and Utensils the Guide notes that metal baking pans and sheets require libbun at very high temperatures which may warp the vessel. In my experience, metal baking pans can rarely be cleaned well enough to kasher them for Pesah. I do not recommend koshering baking pans and sheets for Pesah.

  • The Guide says that "Smooth, glass top electric ranges require koshering by libbun and irui (pouring boiling water over the surface of the range top) and then offers instructions on how to do this. In my experience, the irui process they recommend can be harmful to glass topped ranges. I suggest/cleaning the stovetop thoroughly using special products intended for use on these ranges and then heat as hot as possible for 40 minutes.

  • The Guide says that "Issues regarding glass bakeware are complex." I do not recommend koshering glass (Pyrex, etc.) bakeware or cookware for Pesah.

  • Dishwasher ‐ In the past, most authorities said that porcelain or plastic lined dishwashers could not be kashered. Recently, several authorities including the OU have said that these appliances can be kashered. Those who chose to kasher their metal, porcelain or plastic‐lined dishwashers using the method suggested in the Guide (or the slightly different procedures suggested in other places,) can rely on the authorities who permit this. Those who chose not to kasher their dishwashers also have authorities on which they can rely.

  • Refrigerators ‐ Refrigerators and freezers should be defrosted, cleaned and scoured. Include all walls, shelves and baskets. Some people cover shelves with shelf paper or foil during Pesah. (Make sure to allow for good air circulation in by punching holes in the paper or foil.)

  • Dishtowels and tablecloths can be kashered by washing with soap.

  • Kitniyot–The Rabbinical Assembly Guide includes links to two teshuvot, rabbinic response, regarding eating kitniyot (legumes, etc.) One new teshuva permits eating kitniyot. Another maintains the Ashkenazi prohibition. Our shul will continue to follow the traditional Ashkenazi prohibitions.