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South Florida Family Opens Up Home, Commemorates Passover With Ukrainians Displaced By War

WESTON (CBSMiami) - Passover begins at sundown, but families have already begun getting together, and this year, it takes on new meaning as local Jews are preparing and helping those in need, including Ukrainian refugees.

"Passover isn't necessarily a celebration, it's a commemoration, it's a commemoration of a process of a movement, from servitude and slavery to liberation and salvation," Rabbi Adam Watstein said.

Watstein is with Temple B'Nai Aviv in Weston. "When you think about Mitzrayim in Egypt, it's a narrow confined space where you have spiritual strangulation and no hope," he explained.

Now that's something Ukrainian people and those in the conflict are feeling, and that's part of the reason why his family has welcomed a family of 5 to stay with them. Watstein thought about the Holocaust and what happened during WWII, "80 years ago much of the world turned its eyes when Jews needed a place to go when they were suffering genocide."

The Sibiryakova aren't Jewish, but since they're staying with the Watsteins' they'll be taking part of the dinner, it'll be there first.

"A new family, I feel in my heart so blessed," Anastacia Sibiryakova said.

Meanwhile, in Sunny Isles, Rabbi Yisrael Baron is working to help many in need including some who are Ukrainian Refugees.

"In fact, the Torah reading which we read on every single Jewish festival is about taking care of those in need," Baron said.

This year, Rabbi Baron and his family are working to prepare meals for 150 families. "We did get some calls to add to the list families who are in need and who came to South Florida who had to run away from the conflict in Ukraine,' he said.

Despite the conflict, it seems the spirit of giving and spreading home is even stronger this Passover.

"Our job is to open up our homes on Pesach, and we're doing it in real-time, not with just this family but we've placed 10 in the last 48 hours, and we hope to continue to do it, for weeks and months to come, and as long as necessary," added Rabbi Watstein.

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