Israelis gather for Passover, celebrating freedom from virus

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and children burn leavened items in final preparation for the Passover holiday in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man dips cooking utensils in boiling water to remove remains of leaven in preparation for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover in Ashdod, Israel, Thursday. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

JERUSALEM — A year ago, Giordana Grego’s parents spent Passover at home in Israel, alone but grateful that they had escaped the worst of the pandemic in Italy. This year, the whole family got together to mark the Jewish feast of liberation and deliverance from the pandemic.