Families spend spring break differently this year due to COVID-19


Photo courtesy of Brandon Portnoy

Junior Brandon Portnoy usually attends the opening game for the Yankees ever spring break. This year, however, spring break plans have changed for many.

Max Schwartz, Reporter

As spring break approaches, many are looking forward to a week filled with quality family time and sunny destinations. However, many families have had to make the tough choice of deciding whether to go away for spring break with all the dangers involved in traveling during a pandemic.

Spring break is typically a popular vacation time for JDS families, as the break allows them to spend Passover with their friends and family. Last year, many families were saddened as the pandemic hit right before spring break, forcing them to celebrate the holiday at home by themselves. 

This year, people feel more comfortable traveling because cases in the country are steadily declining and many families have relatives that have been vaccinated. In addition, people have learned better ways to spend time with family that reduce the risk of transmission. 

Sophomore Jonah Gross and his family plan on traveling to Houston for spring break this year, something that has become a yearly tradition for their family. Gross had to stay home for spring break last year and is looking forward to seeing his family in Houston, whom he has not seen in over a year. 

“I can’t wait to spend time with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who I have not seen for over a year now due to the pandemic,” Gross said.

In Houston, Gross plans on having a large seder with his family, as well as doing many other fun activities such as playing baseball with his cousins and eating at Torchy’s Tacos, a Gross family favorite. 

As the weather gets warmer, spring break is the perfect time to get outside and toss a baseball or even go to a game live. Junior Brandon Portnoy, for example, cherishes the opportunity and goes to every baseball game he can. Portnoy and his family have the tradition of going to Yankees opening day every season, a tradition that was sadly broken last year due to the pandemic. 

“I am looking forward to hopefully [going] to the Yankees game because I haven’t been to a sporting event in over a year, and I miss my Yankees,” Portnoy said.

While Portnoy will have to do another virtual seder with his grandparents this year, going back to a baseball game will bring him some return to normalcy.

While more people are going away for the holidays this year, many people are choosing to stay home, citing the pandemic as a major factor in their decision. Sophomore Aiden Melkin and his family are electing to celebrate Passover from home this year, rather than traveling to see family. 

“Usually, we have a larger Seder with more family and friends but because of Covid we are only having immediate family over,” Melkin said. 

Due to the Melkin family’s observance, they will not be able to hold a virtual seder. Instead, they will be holding one with just their immediate family. However, Melkin is not letting this break his spirits.

“I am looking forward to being with my family, relaxing over break,  and doing fun activities like tennis and biking with my brothers,” Melkin said.