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People Are Loving This Story Of An American Student Who Celebrated Passover With Strangers In London

"A stranger restored my faith that no matter where you are in the world, even thousands of miles away from home, you can always find a friend."

Posted on April 11, 2017, at 1:45 p.m. ET

An American college student studying abroad in London was able to celebrate Passover with a British family thanks to the magic of Twitter.

1. Today, something incredible happened. And I will tell this story via Twitter, which is fitting for how this incredible thing came to be.

Samantha Gross told BuzzFeed News that she's a Boston University student studying abroad for a semester in London. Gross is currently an intern for the London Evening Standard, a UK newspaper.

2. I was scrolling through Twitter at lunch today, when I saw this tweet from a London-based CNN reporter I follow:

Tonight is #Passover so if you're in London and you've got nowhere to go for Seder, get in touch. Nobody should be alone tonight.


A seder is a ritual meal that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The 15-step traditional feast, meant to be celebrated with extended family members, tells the story of the first Passover, where the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

Gross told BuzzFeed News that she hasn't had the opportunity to celebrate any Jewish holidays since she's been in London.

3. I messaged him, explaining how I was here without a Seder to attend. I'm no stranger to being the only Jew around (I'm from S'ville, IN)

4. He picked me up in N. London, and we drove with his wife Hannah to his parent's home a few blocks away, where I was immediately welcomed

5. "Don't sit up so straight," his father said. "Relax. You're welcome here." They took my coat, and I chatted with @Masters_JamesD family.


.@Masters_JamesD 6. They were all so interested in me, and me in them. James' 91-year-old grandfather whistled a song he knew about Indiana.

.@Masters_JamesD 7. When we sat for Seder, I immediately got teary. I've lost 3 g'parents in the past few years, an…

.@Masters_JamesD 8. I joked about how strong the maror was to James' uncle, but really I just cried for my own gran…

.@Masters_JamesD 9. The Seder was silly — we sang Pesach tales to various tunes, and my American accent blended wit…


.@Masters_JamesD 10. In between (vegetarian!!) meal and prayer, James and I talked journalism. He gave me advice on…

.@Masters_JamesD 11. He told me that anyone can write, but storytelling is a gift. We talked politics, the industry…

.@Masters_JamesD 12. While we were singing Hebrew words engrained in both my brain and theirs, I couldn't stop thin…

.@Masters_JamesD 13. We both rolled those beautiful Hebrew words off our tongues, and you couldn't hear an accent.…


.@Masters_JamesD 14. I also thought about how little geography means between us (blessed Jews, freed from suffering…

.@Masters_JamesD 15. How lucky we are, to be singing the Hebrews words of emancipation from Pharaoh, which is a ral…

.@Masters_JamesD 16. I couldn't stop thinking about how James changed my Pesach from a meaningless abstinence from…

.@Masters_JamesD 17. James (who had just finished leading services for the elderly), gave me a warm meal and compan…


.@Masters_JamesD 18. He restored my faith that no matter where you are in the world, even thousands of miles away f…

.@Masters_JamesD 19. Chag Sameach to all my friends, Jewish or otherwise. May you be inspired to perform mitzvot, f…

People loved her story so much that it became a Twitter moment.

What happened when @samanthajgross responded to an invitation from a stranger to spend #Passover with his family?

@samanthajgross @Masters_JamesD Joyous Passover to you as well. Incredible story. Truly wonderful people are over there in London.


@Masters_JamesD @samanthajgross this is wonderful and I'm crying my eyes out now (for a number of reasons). You're…

@samanthajgross My heart is full reading this. Blessings spread like ripples from a tiny pebble dropped in water. Thank you for the story.

Gross said that her father sent Masters an “equal parts embarrassing and sweet” Facebook message thanking him for taking care of his daughter after learning about the Passover celebration.

"I hope that those who read my story are inspired to bring a little positivity into a negative space, whether it be on Twitter or in the real world," Gross said. "You never know the impact you might have."

For those who read my #Passover thread about my seder with @Masters_JamesD, here's the full story: