Mini-Layers Profile: #coronastories #pesach #tovabukingolts



“For the last 4 years, we have been going to NY for Pesach to visit my parents, brother (who has special needs), and grandparents. 

My parents are divorced but live a few streets away from each other and being that we live in Israel we look forward to spending our time with everyone.

 In addition, this would be the first time we would meet my only sister’s baby daughter for the first time. She is about to turn 1, and I have been waiting so long to see her. My sister is a nurse with a crazy schedule and she took off the week of Pesach to be able to be with all of us. It was supposed to be really important family time. I am really sad that we all won’t be able to be with everyone. We originally changed our flight to get to NY sooner because we were nervous about more lockdowns and travel restrictions. After a few stressful days with deciding what was best for us to do, we decided not to travel at all for the health and safety of my brother, father, and both mine and my husband’s grandparents who are all extremely high risk for the Coronavirus. We are all devastated that this decision was made but extremely grateful and happy that we didn’t go and potentially expose anyone to the virus we could easily pick up while traveling. 

My grandparents are elderly with BH a lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren- but most of them live in Israel. We really cherish the time that we have together and it is always so special to be with them. 

My mom is a single mother who takes care of my brother. She was looking forward to a much louder and busier house for Yom Tov. I really feel terrible that it will just be the two of them, without her parents who live a few streets away. I hope they will make their own memories and enjoy the time they will have.

We were also supposed to travel to Chicago to my husband’s mother, brother, and grandparents- who we haven’t seen in 3 years. We feel that although it was such a hard decision to cancel that trip as well, it’s better everyone stays healthy, in their own home so that GD willing as soon as all this ends, we will be getting on that first plane to see and hug everyone. “


“I last made Pesach 4 years ago. We changed the kitchen over and had very minimal items- some pots, mixing bowls, cutting boards, etc. 

However, every Pesach that we spent in Israel and didn’t travel to the USA, my husband’s cousins took us in for all the Yom Tov meals and Seder and took care of us.

We have been very lucky in our almost 9 years of marriage and living here in Israel that this is our first time making full Pesach with two kids at home without any other family. We are sad we aren’t with our family and being able to have the kids give everyone so much nachas, but we are looking forward to leading our own Seder, and showing the kids what it is like to kasher the kitchen, have a Seder they can follow along with and eat yummy foods that their grandparents taught us how to make. (But we will be taking grated maror from a neighbor! Definitely not ready to do that myself !) 

We are excited to make these new memories with our children but hope we can be together with our families with Gd’s help soon. “


Tova has a MSW from Adelphi University, made aliyah 2 months after getting married and moved to Jerusalem. After 4 years there she moved to Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel with her family- where she has been living for the last 4 years, working as a content and social media manager for an Israeli company.