As the pandemic continues to affect travel and in-person gatherings for Passover, Yahad, a free digital platform dedicated to making virtual Jewish encounters more meaningful, has added several new content and technical program options.
The first upgrade includes about 50 Haggadot, aimed at most ethnic, language, and religious enclaves in the Jewish community. On a technical level, the new split screen feature not only enables participants to follow the seder at their own pace, but also allows them to track it with a table-like atmosphere, so they can see and talk to fellow attendees. Updates this year also include designated seder leaders and functions that allow users to jump ahead between different haggadot and back to the leader’s page without affecting the view of other participants in their virtual room.
The platform’s capability to be used as a tool for synagogues, congregations, and other communal groups also is new. Rabbis and community leaders can use Yahad to invite up to 1,000 participant screens to their seders, in place of the large in-person gatherings they might have held pre-pandemic. Groups looking to coordinate their larger seder can email email@example.com for more information.
Through Yahad’s website, seder hosts can create their own virtual meeting rooms, invite their friends and family members using secure codes, and interact with each other while following along in the seder text.
Passover begins at sundown on March 27 and ends on April 4.
Yahad, presented by the Jewish Heritage Network, is a partnership between the Fooksman Family Foundation and dozens of content partners, including Jewish institutions and museums that have uploaded haggadot in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and other languages.
The Jewish Heritage Network is a global network of Jewish heritage institutions and a platform of digital services that allows them to make collections available online and reach various audiences.