Have you done your Passover shopping? Was it similar to this list– and these prices– from 1977?
With the beginning of Passover tomorrow night, we wanted to share some materials from the collection about the Joint Passover Association (JPA), one of Federation’s agencies. Founded in 1927 with the purpose of coordinating Passover assistance activities and fundraising conducted by synagogues and Jewish organizations, the JPA provided Jews in need with funds to buy Passover items. By its 50th anniversary in 1977, the JPA provided aid to 4,065 applicants (11,263 individuals) and distributed $116,707 that year in relief funds.
The above food list details the “basic Passover needs for one person” in 1977, and the prices reflect the amount of aid most people received. Though it may seem bare-bones compared to some lavish Seder spreads of today, most recipients were very grateful to receive help to celebrate the holiday. Below are a few of the many thank-you notes sent to Federation in response to receiving Passover assistance. The Joint Passover Association was a Federation-affiliated agency through 2009.