Hundreds of students of Hesder yeshivot around the country have volunteered to take on one of the biggest Passover koshering jobs in the country – preparing IDF bases' kitchens for Passover.
Bases around the country serve thousands of meals a week, with some of the larger bases serving 10,000 meals and more. “Changing over” from all-year, bread and leaven-based cooking in a very short period of time, in an industrial-sized kitchen with industrial-sized stoves, refrigerators, and ovens, would generally take weeks – except that the business of feeding soldiers must go on. The kitchen staff on many bases are harried and overworked as it is, and many are not cognizant of the details of the laws of making a kitchen kosher for Passover.
To the rescue come some 1,000 Hesder yeshiva students, who last week spread throughout the country to take up the challenge of getting IDF kitchens ready for Passover. Armed with sponges, buckets, pails, and even blowtorches, the students were busy preparing kitchens to cook kosher for Passover fare – with kitchen staff getting ready to prepare meals for the Seder, on Monday night.
In many cases, the students will not be going home after they finished cleaning. Many will remain on the base to supervise the kitchen, and to lead the Seder for soldiers. Eitan Ozeri, Director General of the Hesder Yeshiva Association, said that Passover was one of the proudest moments for the Hesder yeshivot. “The Yeshiva students volunteered to held the army with everything needed to prepare bases for Passover, and to enable soldiers to fulfill the obligations of the Seder and the holiday in a pleasant, positive atmosphere, even though they are far away from their homes and families,” he said.