If there is anything more nerve-racking than cleaning my own personal home for Passover, it is cleaning the 14 kitchens for J-ADD’s 47 individuals with developmental disabilities. I mean, these kitchens not only have our residents in there, they also have three shifts of staff all of whom can be walking pieces of chametz at any time of day or night. Somehow no matter how hard we try, they manage to bring pieces of anything not allowed during Passover into virtually any space you never thought they could possibly enter.
There is the concept with Passover cleaning that if you are sure nothing leavened entered a certain room or area during the year, you don’t need to clean it. Which makes life less stressful if you only have one house to clean, but 14! And then there is the toiveling of two sets of pots, pans and dishes…for each of the 14 kitchens.
Now, while I am not trying to stress anyone out, least of all myself, the reality is that Passover cleaning at J-ADD requires some major preplanning, particularly as we try to keep things as stable as possible for the individuals living in our apartments and homes, and therefore our transitional period between a chametz kitchen and a Passover kitchen has to be as short as possible.
So when J-ADD learned about YBM’s chesed initiative that included, amongst many other things, working with individuals with developmental disabilities and Pesach cleaning we decided to marry the two and ask for help. When we told our story to Chaim Kiss, he responded with an enthusiastic yes, and sent us an even more enthusiastic Mickey Cohen, who immediately was in contact with his yeshiva bachurim and our staff, organizing how to get every pot, pan and spoon toiveled and cleaned, as well as how to assist in the koshering of the kitchens. Four trunk-loads of utensils and multiple trips to the keilim mikvah, as well as five bachurim and seven J-ADD staff later, J-ADD homes and kitchens could officially be deemed kasher l’Pesach.
Kol hakavod and thanks so much YBM!Dr. John Winer