Customer and Employee Celebration Spotlight: Passover

By CXPA Admin posted 04-18-2024 08:44 PM


As diversity remains a CXPA Core Value, the Diversity Advancement Committee is committed to ensuring a culture of inclusivity and belonging, where everyone is welcomed. One of the 2024 initiatives of the DEI Committee is to increase awareness about celebrations with which you may not be familiar, but that may be important to your fellow members, colleagues, and customers. In the first of this series, we want to wish those who celebrate a peaceful Passover, while providing insight to help CX professionals support their Jewish colleagues and customers.

About the Passover Holiday

Passover, or Pesach (PEH-sach - pronounced PAY-sokh) in Hebrew, commemorates the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt and their ultimate exodus to freedom. This story of redemption from slavery is the “master-story” of the Jewish People – a story that has shaped Jewish consciousness and values. Pesach starts on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan which is considered the first month of the Hebrew year. The Hebrew calendar is adjusted to align with the solar calendar in such a way that 15 Nisan always coincides with Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. The Hebrew day starts and ends at sunset, so the holiday starts at sunset

The words

the day before. This year the 15 of Nisan coincides with April 9. Passover Dates for 2024 are April 22 – 30.


The central ritual of Pesach is the Seder (SAY-der), a carefully choreographed ritual meal that takes place on the eve of Passover at home with family and friends or with the community. It is both a sumptuous feast as well as an educational experience for children and adults alike. The Seder begins by reading the Haggadah (Ha-ga-DAH), a 2000-year-old book which retells the story of the Exodus from Egypt in detail. Children sing “The Four Questions” (Mah Nishtah in Hebrew) which introduce the telling of the story. 

An essential part of the Seder is eating ritual foods symbolic of the journey from slavery to freedom: 

  • ·   Wine (four cups): symbols of joy 
  • ·   Bitter herbs: reminding us of the suffering of slavery.
  • ·   Green leafy vegetables: representing the growth of spring and the continuation of the Jewish people.
  • ·   Matzah {a thin, crisp unleavened bread): which is both the poor bread of slaves and a symbol of freedom.

The Haggadah instructs that “each person is to experience the exodus from Egypt personally, as if we ourselves have been freed from Egypt.” The Hebrew word for “Egypt” literally means “the narrow, constricted place.” At the Seder, many contemplate where in their own lives they feel constriction, where they feel stuck, and how they might move into spaciousness and freedom.

It is important to note that while Passover is not a public holiday everywhere, most businesses, schools, and offices are open and follow regular hours. Jewish-run businesses and organizations, however, might be closed as working is not permitted on the first two days of Passover nor on the final two days of the festival.  

Supporting your Jewish Colleagues and Customers

Because work is not permitted on the first two days of Passover nor on the final two days of the festival, be flexible when it comes to requests for annual leave, where Jewish employees may want to take time off to go and celebrate Passover with family and friends. For both employees and customers, avoid booking important meetings and events during this time.

When it comes to food and beverage, during the 8 days of Passover, Jewish people traditionally cannot eat anything leavened or fermented. Some branches of Judaism also avoid legumes (e.g., beans, soy, rice, and corn). Apart from fresh food, everything else is sanctified for eating during Passover and carries a special label. Therefore, be mindful of dietary restrictions and ensure options are available if an event must be held.

Additional ways to celebrate and support Jewish colleagues and customers come from Inclusive Employers and Gateley: 

  • ·   Wish them a “Happy Passover” or you may say “Chag kasher v’sameach” which translates as “May you have a happy and kosher Passover.” 
  • ·   Speak to Jewish colleagues and customers about Passover and ask respectful questions which will help you to appreciate and learn about their culture.
  • ·   Amplify the voices of your Jewish colleagues/customers – this can be done by inviting them to speak at events and inviting them to write blogs sharing their perspectives, making it easier to share their stories on a larger scale, while being consciously inclusive.
  • ·   Educate yourself and your teams on antisemitism. 

·       Use the bitesize inclusion toolkit to facilitate conversations about race and faith inclusion. 

By taking these small steps, you can create a more inclusive and supportive workplace and business where everyone feels welcomed.