March 23, 2020

Most European Passover Programs Cancelled due to Coronavirus

London…Despite valiant efforts by program operators in Europe to keep Passover programs open, most if not all have already cancelled their programs, according to Raphi Bloom of With airline travel curtailed and the pandemic showing no signs of slowing, particularly in choice destinations like Italy and Spain, the operators were left with no choice albeit while facing huge losses on deposits and marketing. Many programs followed Kosherica’s model of offering to credit deposits to 2021 or to attempt to run smaller programs, which is increasingly becoming more difficult. Most operators told Kosher Today that to offer refunds at this point would spell financial ruin as they face obligations to hotels, catering, vendors and others, which they vow to fight. One program insisted that they were proceeding but knowledgeable sources said that it was unlikely that they would have any patrons. Several programs are making full refunds but those are the exceptions rather than the rule. European Jews, many of which were planning to spend Passover in Israel, were all but resigned to spending Passover at home or with relatives locally.