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A Passover Legacy Benefits Homebound Seniors


Pearl Kahan Borten (right) and the donation of individually packaged Passover cakes in her honor.


Pearl Kahan Borten, born and raised in Philadelphia, passed away April 2020 at age 90. Pearl was an incredibly compassionate woman who cared deeply about her Jewish identity and helping others. Because of the pandemic, a service to honor her legacy as was postponed. Her son, Barry Kahan, and daughter, Judy Sander, wanted to ensure that her memory would continue to be a blessing to the community.

“We weren’t able to have a proper funeral for our mother, but we wanted to honor her memory. I came up with an idea,” said Kahan. “My mother was a giver. She touched on her Jewish connection and always helped people like herself who were elderly.” This inspired a special delivery of Passover cakes to KleinLife to be used for their Home Delivered Meals program. The Passover cakes were baked by Savvati Gourmet, a local kosher caterer, who prepared over 350 cakes using Pearl’s recipe. “Passover has had a special meaning my whole life,” said Kahan, “and for me personally, providing these cakes was a way to honor our mother’s memory by ensuring that her kindness would continue to touch others, even after she was gone.”

As a long-time Cook for a Friend program volunteer, Kahan remembered a time when he routinely cooked meals and soup for homebound seniors with Adath Israel in Merion Station, benefitting KleinLife’s Home Delivered Meals program. When time came to decide where the donation of Passover cakes should go, the decision was easy. “KleinLife was the obvious choice as it checked a lot of boxes,” affirmed Kahan.

John Eskate, director of RSVP Philadelphia at KleinLife, was thrilled upon the arrival of the Passover cakes. “It’s always nice to see the generosity of the community, but this was unexpected,” said Eskate. “Our homebound clients were so appreciative to receive something extra special for the holiday, especially since most of them are celebrating alone.” All of the cakes were delivered to homebound seniors who have limited ways to celebrate Passover. They were delivered in time for the first Seder.

As this year’s Passover is coming to an end, Barry looks forward to the ones in the future to continue Pearl’s legacy. “I hope to make this an annual tradition.”

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