While there are some who may disagree with Chabad’s ideology and their practices, and others who may even be resentful of some public stands that they may take on other movements in the continuum of the Jewish community, Chabad has two of Passover programs this year that are worthy of notice.
First, somewhat consistent with our own Passover in the Matzah Aisle program, Chabad rabbis made themselves available in many supermarkets this Passover season as “Passover Experts.” They set up tables near the Passover food section, ready to answer any questions about Passover and Passover food items. While this approach may be designed more for those already on the inside of the community, and is certainly coming from a particular perspective on observance, I have to admit that as I pondered the food items this year, there were many questions that bubbled to the surface.
Second, Chabad set up an International Seder Finder on line where people can find a Seder from Kansas to Kazakhstan, and everywhere in between. Even if the Seder finder did not really make its way into the secular press and would require some hunting on the part of the target population, this is a useful tool for those not so close to the inside of the community. Of course, the sedarim (plural for seder) listed are only those at Chabad centers around the world and I would have preferred a more community-wide approach. And it also includes all of the Passover events sponsored by the local Chabad center (and is not selective for the intended audience).
Nevertheless, I would welcome this as a service provided by local communities and coordinated by Community Outreach Coordinators as it is an important step forward in reaching those on the periphery of the community.