For me it just feels right to be at home for Passover. Jane likes to cook our traditional food and we enjoy having the family gather for seder at our house. It's been that way for us for almost 40 years. That's why it's odd to think that some people go away for Passover. Lots of Jews do it. You've heard of destination weddings? Well this is destination seders. There are entire websites dedicated to Passover travel destinations. It's amazing.
Of course you might expect Miami Beach and other Florida locations, but that's nothing. There are so many websites proclaiming Kosher Passover Vacation packages in places such as Puerto Rico, Croatia, Spain, Mexico, and Monaco that it's mind-boggling. I keep reading how religious Jewish people are on the decline. If so, just who's going to these Kosher get-aways? I don't think it's the atheists or the agnostics.
Check out some of this actual resort ad copy for example:
"Elegance, discretion, luxury. We want your stay for Pesach 2015 with Easy Kosher at the Gran Hotel Elba Estepona & Thalasso SPA to be one that you will remember.
Glatt Kosher, H'alak Bet Yosef, H'alav Israel, No Kitnyot. Shabbat lift Easy Kosher, for the 6th consecutive year, will do its best to offer you all the services, facilities, and activities you need to make your stay with us a pleasant, enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
A 5 Star Luxury hotel with idyllic surroundings by the sea, Private beach, Indoor heated pool, 1.500m2 SPA, haute cuisine prepared to meet the most exquisite requirements
An all-day-long animation for adults and children Baby-Club (from 0 to 2 years old), Kid-Club (from 3 to 7 years old) and Junior-Club (from 8 to 12 years old)
Quality inspiring religious activities all over the holidays (Ashkenazi and Sephardic religious services, classes, and conferences for all public).
Exceptional Mimona party in the purest Judeo Sephardic tradition
Children menus and baby meals at separated hours
Junior Club (from 8 to 12), Kid Club (from 3 to 7)
Baby Club (from 0 to 2)
Children pool and game area for the kids
A service of private baby sitting will be available on demand all along the holidays.
THE HOTEL: This luxury, beachfront hotel is located just outside Estepona, on the Costa del Sol. It offers a spa, indoor and outdoor pools and elegant rooms with a private balcony.
The air-conditioned rooms at Gran Hotel Elba Estepona & Thalaso Spa GL feature stylish dˇcor. Each one has satellite TV and a private bathroom with hairdryer.
The hotel is 20 minutes' drive from Marbella and 30 minutes' drive from Gibraltar."
Notice how this place is catering to rich young families. Most of these places do. "Spend Passover in Gibraltar, bring your newborns!" And then there's this other option, for those who favor the Caribbean: "a magnificent five star resort in one of the world's most beautiful Caribbean island; the island of Curacao!
Located just 35 miles east of Aruba; Curacao enjoys the same all year round sunny skies with an average temperature of 82 degrees, featuring one of the world's most breathtaking beaches and water views.
Your Five Star Passover program includes
• Entire resort is exclusively kosher for Pesach
• Jugging, power walk and bicycle trails
• Three beautiful pools and a private beach
• All outstanding Passover cuisine prepared by our professional world class gourmet chefs
• Elegant Oceanfront Tea room filled with a dazzling array of fresh fruits, fine chocolates, Pastries, Sweets, Ice-cream, Gourmet nuts, Hot and cold beverages and Smoothies
• Active bar for Passover alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails
• Oceanside BBQs, Viennese Tables and Theme nights
• Ravishing Kiddushim and overflowing late night Buffets
• Boxed Lunches for Chol Hamoed excursions
• Private and communal Seders available
• Spectacular Ocean view Dining
• Golf, Tennis, complementary water sports
• Professional fun filled teen program day camp and play group
• Ashkenaz and Sepharad Minyanim with professional Chazanim
• Game room, blow-up and carnival rides
• Astounding daily adult and children activities
• Professional aerobics and fitness instructor
• Strictest level of Kashrus
• Daf yomi Shiurim and Inspiring Scholar's Lecturers and Chazonim
• World renowned Jewish entertainers
• Shabbos Eruv"
Power walks? Golf, tennis, bicycle trails? Wow, just think of all the great selfies you can post. And you can bet there will be some sort of PlayStation or Xbox facilities as well. How about some thrill rides like Pesach Mountain? Or Pirates of the Hassidim? My grandfather and grandmother would be doing more than spinning. They'd be doing cartwheels, back-flips, headstands, and somersaults.
I don't know, does all this sound like Passover? Not to me. It feels more like Passover Club Med or Disneyland without the costumed characters. It's Jewish Spring Break. As I said, I prefer to be home for the holidays. The only thing a Passover Destination Resort vacation has in common with the actual holiday is that they both deal with an exodus.
Oh, well. Happy Passover to my fellow Jews. Wherever you are.