Matzah emergency in Halifax as local Jews scramble to find crucial Passover staple

Empty shelf
No matzah to be found on the shelf at Halifax's Queen Street Sobeys store except one box of egg matzah on Wednesday March 29, 2023. (Photo by Rabbi Yakov Kerzner)

With just days to go until Passover begins on April 5, the Atlantic Jewish Council sent out an emergency email to all its members advising of a shortage of matzah at the main grocery stores in Halifax. “Please note that there is no longer any matzah in any store in Halifax,” the note read, and advised the Jewish community that Rabbi Yakov Kerzner, of the city’s Orthodox Beth Israel Synagogue, is trying to source matzah from Montreal. It may arrive in time for the first night of Passover, although Kerzner hopes it will come sooner.

The growing Jewish community in Halifax has faced challenges for years when trying to source Kosher food for Jewish festivals: orders from Sobeys or the Atlantic Superstore don’t come in on time, or they come with less product than they were supposed to. But this year, the local Jewish community says it is the worst it has been, requiring extraordinary efforts to help families observe Passover with the required foods, particularly the obligation of eating matzah.

Rabbi Kerzner joins The CJN Daily along with Yoram Abisror, the executive director of the Atlantic Jewish Council, to describe what they plan to do next.

What we talked about

  • Find out more about Rabbi Yakov Kerzner and Beth Israel Synagogue in Halifax on The
  • How post tropical storm Fiona meant Hurricane High Holidays for the Jews of the Maritimes in the fall of 2022, on The CJN Daily
  • Watch the Kashruth Council of Canada’s new videos on what is Kosher for Passover on their YouTube Channel


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here