Happy Passover! As you celebrate this holiday of liberation with your friends and family, we hope you’ll remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose yahrzeit was this week: “No one is free until everyone is free.” Below, we have compiled a number of Passover resources to bring the experiences of those who are struggling for social justice locally and globally to your seders. We encourage you to check out these links and share them with your guests as we continue to work together toward liberation for all people:
- First, let’s start with the haggadah. This book that we use to tell the Passover story each year is being constantly reinvented, and this year is no exception. In the New York Times, author Jonathan Safran Foer explains why he spent so much time creating the newly published New American Haggadah with fellow author Nathan Englander. For an amusing aside to the publication of this haggadah, read Food Politics author Marion Nestle’s account of a piece she submitted to the project that was never published.
- Some of the major social justice themes of the Passover story that painfully still apply today are slavery and immigration. Rabbis for Human Rights-North America is dedicated to fighting modern day slavery and has assembled several Passover resources on the topic; to learn more about slavery in contemporary times, read their article in The Forward. For readings related to immigration, AVODAHnik Ilana Krakowski shares lessons from Jews United for Justice’s Labor Seder in this blog post, and HIAS Pennsylvania has put together a reading for the four cups of wine that tells four stories of immigrants in the U.S. today.
- Can we change the world through better conversation? That’s the goal of the website Ask Big Questions, which posted the following to AJWS President Ruth Messinger: Are we free? Click here to read Ruth’s response to this central question of Passover, and visit the AJWS website to download Passover readings for people of all ages. For further social justice resources on a range of issues from LGBTQ rights to global hunger, see Rabbi Joshua Hammerman’s excellent compilation on his blog to bring these important conversations to your seder.
- Finally, here’s to taking action on the inspiration and momentum of this extremely social justice-oriented holiday. This week, member organizations of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable were invited to the White House for a briefing on the Obama administration’s social justice agenda. Newly renamed organization Bend the Arc’s CEO Alan van Capelle spoke about the priorities of the Jewish social justice movement, and Aileen Goldstein of AJWS Global Circle blogged about her experience participating in the briefing day and advocating for food justice.
Chag Sameach, Pursuers!