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Rice and Beans OK for Passover for First Time Since 1200s

A 13th century rule has been reversed

(Newser) - Foods like rice and beans may be on the Passover tables of some Jews for the first time in 800 years thanks to a ruling by a committee of rabbis in the Conservative movement, Smithsonian reports. Those foods, along with corn, beans, and peanuts, which belong to a category called...

Family Says Museum's Priceless Passover Manuscript Is Rightfully Theirs

They claim it was stolen during Nazi rule

(Newser) - The Birds' Head Haggadah—the oldest illustrated Passover manuscript in the world and one of its most intriguing—has been a prized possessions of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for the past 70 years, the AP reports. Now the grandchildren of a Jewish lawyer killed by the Nazis say the...

Just in Time for Passover: Kosher Cigarettes

Israeli body gives 3 brands seal of approval

(Newser) - It's Passover and for the first time, Israeli smokers can puff away on rabbi-approved cigarettes, the AP reports. The group that certifies foods and other items as kosher for the week-long holiday approved three brands of cigarettes after determining that their ingredients had not come into contact with grains...

White House Renews Seder Tradition

(Newser) - Among the families around the world gathering tomorrow to celebrate the beginning of Passover with a dinner, or seder, will be a high-profile group: the Obamas. The White House seder tradition started on the campaign trail in 2008, when then-senator Barack Obama surprised three staffers by showing up for their...

Obama Plans First Presidential Seder

Friends and White House staff invited

(Newser) - President Obama is planning to host a Passover seder at the White House for friends and staff tomorrow evening, JTA reports. What appears to be the first-ever presidential seder is scheduled for the second night of the Jewish holiday so guests can celebrate with their families tonight. The event “...

Kosher Tequila? Passover Choices Widen

(Newser) - The kosher alcohol scene has long been dominated by sweet Manishevitz, but that old standby is getting a run for its money as premium wines, and even hard liquor, are crossing the kosher barrier. Making kosher product has many restrictions, but entrepreneurs seem to think Jewish tipplers are in the...

Matzo Shortage Plagues Passover in Calif.

Stores sold out before holiday began Saturday, Jews 'at wits' end'

(Newser) - With Passover in full swing, Jews in the San Francisco area are enduring a shortage of matzo, the Chronicle reports. Most grocers were cleaned out Friday or Saturday, the first day of the observance, and with the holiday stretching to the weekend, the observant wonder how they'll manage without the...

Pope Makes History With Visit to US Synagogue

Benedict is first pope to visit an American synagogue

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI became the first pontiff to ever set foot inside an American synagogue with his visit to New York's Park East Synagogue yesterday, the New York Times reports. Benedict, presented with matzo, a Seder plate and a Passover prayer book, spoke to the congregation of "building bridges...

Margarine Shortage Stymies Passover Bakers

Kosher spread too pricey for most producers

(Newser) - Jewish families are facing a culinary crisis: a shortage of margarine that’s kosher for Passover. The lack of available stick margarine in particular is frustrating cooks who bake confections that offset the holiday’s ban on leavening, the Wall Street Journal reports. "There are so few really tasty...

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