Passover Preparations In The Poconos

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MOUNT POCONO -- Passover begins Monday night for those of the Jewish faith. It is to commemorate the Jews' freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt

Passover is observed with a special meal, prayer, and songs .

A resort in the Poconos was busy Monday preparing for the event.

Car after car was lined up outside the Inn at Pocono Manor near Mount Pocono as people of the Jewish faith unload their belongings for the stay.

Inside the lobby hundreds of people were getting situated at the front desk, preparing to observe Passover.

"It takes months of planning and organization and today it all comes together. We sell out the whole hotel for ten days and the hotel staff is phenomenal," said Michael Mandel of Pesach Time Tours.

Many of the guests who stay at the inn come with generations of family. It's Alan Weinberg's first time observing Passover at Pocono Manor. And with a group of 22 people, he's impressed with how the hotel staff is making sure everyone is taken care of.

"It's very busy. I mean, they're doing a great job getting everyone moving because this could be a big mess if you didn't have the right people I guess," said Weinberg.

Staff members have their hands full not only because the entire resort is booked but there are specific needs that must be met for the guests, starting with their rooms.

"They can't break paper, so lots of tissues need to be used and their keys must be the old fashioned keys, as opposed to the electronic locks," said Lisa Green, general manager of the Inn at Pocono Manor.

This is the beginning of the ten-day stay for more than 650 people at the inn and the organized chaos continues into the kitchen where the chefs are preparing their kosher cuisine.

The formal Passover feast called Seder and it's prepared in a very specific way.

"Everything is separated. We have three different departments. We have a neutral department; in Jewish is called 'parev.' We have a dairy department, and then we have a meat department," said executive kosher chef Yosef Oldak.

The group also brings in three tractor trailers filled with food, kosher kitchen utensils, and plates as part of religious law.