Each Passover, local online hub TC Jewfolk serves as a holiday matchmaker, pairing those looking to attend a seder dinner with hosts who have extra spots at the table.

This year, demand has spiked. Four times the usual number of folks filled out a form seeking a seder. In need of more hosts, the nonprofit put out a challenge on Twitter:

"They say a Minnesotan will graciously give you directions anywhere ... except to their own home. Prove them wrong! Make an extra seat or 3 at your seder for a small family reconnecting with Judaism, a single ba'al teshuva [someone from a secular background choosing to observe], or someone shy but who loves pets!"

Jewfolk's executive director, Libby Parker, first came up with the idea to make matches in 2015.

"I want everybody to be able to have a place at the table," she said. "Even the least observant Jews try to go to a seder. It's one of those primary rituals. And so we thought, 'Why not be the platform for connecting people who might not have somewhere to go?' "

Parker had several theories about why so many are requesting a match right now.

Because Passover falls during many public school districts' spring break this year, some families that traditionally host will be out of town, leaving relatives or friends seeking to join a different seder table.

"I think also, post-COVID, things have changed for people and they are just looking for either new experiences or to connect with new people," she said.

The online Google form that Jewfolk staffers use to collect information for matches includes questions about preferred location, traditional or modern seder and food or pet allergies. Many seeking seders are single, some are young, some are retirees. Quite a few filling out the form this year noted they are LGBTQ and are looking for a seder that would be welcoming, Parker said.

All of the matches are made by a person (Jewfolk's community engagement manager), not an algorithm.

Through the years, the holiday matchmaking efforts have made a difference.

One Passover, Parker got a thank-you letter that said, "without your assistance in this, I wouldn't have had the seder and I really appreciate getting to meet new people." Another year, Jewfolk found a place for a new widow and her young children.

"This is a very small moment in somebody's life, but what we're trying to do is make those small moments be meaningful," Parker said.