Chabad Seders in Cusco, Peru

Chabad Seders in Cusco, Peru

Photo Credit: Bentzi Sasson

Cusco, Peru

April 7, 2010

( Despite widespread damage in January caused by Peru’s worst flooding in five years, with numerous access roads closed, Chabad-Lubavitch hosted some 700 guests for its Passover Seders in Cusco. 

The Seder involved weeks of planning and arrangements, supervised by Chabad representatives, Rabbi Ofer and Yael Kripor. Ten Chabad rabbinical students who arrived from New York worked at an intense pace with the help of tourists, to prepare the elaborate Seder.

It took 1322 pounds of grapes, squeezed for juice, two tons of poultry, and a container of matzah shipped from New York for the basics. Most of the immediate cooking preparations took place in the courtyard of the Chabad House with the help of hired culinary school students and waiters.

The first Seder was held in a community sports facility. Security was high, with dozens of police officers, Peruvian Special Forces and Israeli security guards. Streets around the building were closed, and guests were required to present a ticket and photo ID to gain entry.

The following night, Chabad hosted Seders at various Chabad centers in the city.

Once the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco’s attractions include the world renowned archeological site Machu Picchu. In past years, attendance at the Chabad Seders was twice as high but the January rains closed access routes to many locations, lowering tourism. Points of interest such as Machu Picchu have only reopened in the past week.

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