Easter and Passover celebrations limited for the second year

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – With the Easter and Passover holidays this weekend, local churches and synagogues are taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Religious leaders are happy they can celebrate this year, even if it is at a distance or through a computer screen.

“The Synagogue is still close for any in person activity we’re still 100% virtual. We had a virtual Passover Seder, participation, this year, just like last year,” Rabbi Oren Steinitz said.

They are encouraging everyone to stay the course because there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As more people get vaccinated, they say they will be able to return to normal.

“We just reopened on Palm Sunday. It was our first Sunday back in person since September,” Rev. Jenny Scott-Jones said. “We are just reminding people that right now is the time to give air hugs instead of real hugs and avoid touching each other in the ways that we normally would during the sign of peace.”

Easter egg hunts look different, too. A Saturday morning Easter egg hunt in Horseheads included fun activities like balloon animals, a petting zoo, and of course the Easter Bunny.

“The kids have been through a lot. We think about what it has done to adults in our homes, but really what it has done to the kids over the last year. School being shut down, playgrounds being shut down, so we just want to be a blessing to be able to lift up the spirits of all the kids,” Pastor Jeff Redner and Julia Redner said.

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