Passover with the Pivar’s

The entire family at dinner.


The Pivar family at their 2008 Seder.

We use this holiday as an opportunity for our whole family to spend time together at least once a year. Since some of us live in different areas of the country, it’s rare that we are all in the same place at the same time too often anymore.

Al and Mary have been celebrating Passover at their home every year since my grandmother, Minnie Pivar passed away. About 6 years ago, attending Passover dinner together was considered optional, but then my dad, Alvin Pivar made the decision that “optional” would no longer be the case, so here we are, every year, sharing Passover at the Pivars’ house and enjoy a reunion that provides plenty of time to catch up with each other’s lives. It was the best decision he could have made for the good of all of us. There’s nothing like spending time with your family and the fact that it’s Passover makes it that much more special.

Mary goes out of her way to make sure that nothing is overlooked and that the family traditions which began many years ago at Minnie and Edward Pivar’s Passovers dinners remain true to form. She makes sure we use the same yamakas, dishes, silverware, books and afikomen routine dating from back to when I was just a little girl, and probably much further for those that had the pleasure of sharing the holiday with them before I was even born, I’m sure.

Mary and Gertie Shear, (Gertie is Donald’s wife of more than 50 years, and Donald is dad’s first cousin on my Grandfather’s side. He is the son of Edward Pivar’s sister, Blunky) do their best so that the recipes for each dish are as close to Minnie’s as possible and equally, if not more so, delicious.

By looking through the many photographs on the web site so generously provided by other family members, I noticed many that were taken inside both residences I remember of my grandmother and grandfather. So, I know that many of you had the pleasure of sharing holidays with them too.

Every year, Alvin, his first cousin, Donald Shear (check out the photos, they look more like brothers) get together to decide who will handle what, as we go through the ceremony. They huddle together determining whose responsibility it will be to keep a close eye on the afikomen to ensure that it will absolutely, positively, NOT disappear. As everyone knows, it’s necessary for the completion of service. With the kids watching with the same intensity, well, you know the rest!

Once the all important negotiations for retrieval finally commence and finally, the singing of Chad Gadya, another Pivar Passover comes to a close until next year.

I know I can speak for all of us when I say we feel blessed to be able to make this happen every year.

I have included photographs for you to become familiar with the family members you may not have met yet and some of us that I know you haven’t seen for a while.

We hope you enjoyed hearing just a bit about how we celebrate and now we look forward to hearing about you too. Happy Holiday!

New Officers Elected

At the March Business Meeting in Baltimore, the family group elected new officers. Congratulations to Adele Taube – President; Cheryl Mitnick – Vice President; Ron Mitnick – Treasurer; Lenny Taube – Corresponding Secretary; Sandy Walter – Recording Secretary.

In other news, a committee will look at the RLFG Constitution. And the annual charity contributions we made.

Of interest was the reading of minutes from 1968.

Fradkin’s Visit Israel

Fradkin's Visit Israel

Rabbi Josh Shapiro with Carol & Gary Fradkin

I just spent time on the website and…WOW, what a great job, and what a service to all of us. It even helped me figure out the relationship to the cousins I spent time with in the last 2 weeks.

Let me explain:

Gary and I just returned this morning from our first trip to Israel. Right before we left, I printed out the RLFG address list which Adele had compiled. On the plane, I went through the list and circled everyone who lives in Israel….and was astounded at how many cousins are there! When we were visiting with cousins of Gary’s, they looked at the list and found a number of people they knew, including Avi, who lived right around the corner! He was nice enough to come over, and later in the trip we also spent time with Carmi and his family, and Rabbi Josh, as well. We talked with David Klein’s wife Esther when we were in Safat, only to find out that David was on his way to Baltimore for a visit, so we missed getting to see him.

The genealogy links on the website has made it easy to determine that Avi and Carmi are my second cousins….a fact we all thought was right, but weren’t exactly sure.

So, thanks to you and to Adele for doing the work to help keep our huge family connected.

Fradkin's Visit Israel

Gary & Carol Fradkin with Debbie & Carmi Shapiro & their children