Sundown today marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, and this morning, observant Jewish families had a deadline to meet.
By noon, they had to get rid of every last bread crumb in their home.
Many Jews did that together... at organized outdoor fires, where they threw bread into the flames, said prayers, and shared time together.
WBEZ’s Odette Yousef went to one of those bread burnings, which was held in the parking lot of the new site of the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Skokie.
Most families began cleaning their homes from leavened products weeks ago. (WBEZ/ Shawn Allee)
Kenny Landsman volunteered to control and tend to the fire. (WBEZ/ Shawn Allee)
The Passover holiday lasts eight days. (WBEZ/ Shawn Allee)
Participants also burned sacred palm fronds, saved from the Sukkot holiday. (WBEZ/ Shawn Allee)
After tossing bread into the flames, participants say a short prayer. (WBEZ/ Shawn Allee)