Alef Betty: Modern Hebrew Arts

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From Whence it Came

Arielle's holiday table: the print-out that would become the Urban Family Passover Haggadah.

From the foreword:

This book began as a few pages of supplemental readings at a potluck Passover seder in Washington, DC in 2004. That night there were only two Jewish people present, and most of the guests had never been to a seder. As I explained the symbols and put the narrative into context, I was–for the first time in my life–really telling the story of Passover.

Like anyone who hears a story for the first time, my guests asked questions and made connections between this story and other stories they knew. Sitting among my urban family–the connected group of friends, colleagues, neighbors, and classmates–I began to comprehend the power of this ritual to connect us to one another and to history. As the tradition continued in subsequent years, the questions asked and stories told at the urban family seders inspired the addition of new and different meditations and explanations. Eventually, those elements became the Urban Family Passover Haggadah.

While the Torah does not refer explicitly to urban families in Exodus, the fact that it refers to the Jewish people not as individual family units, but as a community, is significant. The Torah tells of a people who suffered together in Egypt as a community, and who were freed together as a community. However you celebrate Passover with your family–however you characterize them–may you feel the strength of this community.

A Look Inside

Want to see more? Feast your eyes on more spreads and bigger images right here.

Giving Back

The message of Pesach, "All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy come and celebrate Passover" calls on us explicitly to engage in tikkun olam, the repair of the world. We decided to answer this call by donating 25% of the proceeds from our Haggadah to Polaris Project, a non-profit organization combating human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Order your copies here!

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