Jew­ish Text

The Gate­ways Hag­gadah: A Seder for the Whole Family

Rebec­ca Radner
  • Review
By – February 2, 2016

The Gate­ways Hag­gadah is a break­through for Jew­ish fam­i­lies with spe­cial needs mem­bers. This bright, col­or­ful, and easy-to-hold Hag­gadah is meant to be used by peo­ple with spe­cial needs. It has all the essen­tial parts of the tra­di­tion­al Hag­gadah as well as photo­graphs of fam­i­lies like the ones who will use it. The direc­tions are very clear which makes it eas­i­er for every­one. One of the unique parts of this Hag­gadah is that there are May­er- John­son Pic­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tion sym­bols for each bless­ing. This allows for the engage­ment of peo­ple who were unable to par­tic­i­pate in the seder before. This Hag­gadah will feel quite com­fort­able for most Jew­ish fam­i­lies as it does not slant toward any par­tic­u­lar move­ment with­in Judaism, although the text of the Hag­gadah is great­ly abbre­vi­at­ed. The edit­ing deci­sions were made well; for exam­ple, the Four Sons sec­tion has been rein­ter­pret­ed to be sto­ries of four spe­cial needs chil­dren and their reac­tions to the hol­i­day and all it entails. The tone of this Hag­gadah is warm and invit­ing. Count­less Jew­ish fam­i­lies will enjoy using this Hag­gadah to enhance their seder experiences.

Deb­bie Fed­er is cur­rent­ly the Direc­tor of the LRC at Ida Crown Jew­ish Acad­e­my in Chica­go. She has her Mas­ters in Library and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence from Domini­can Uni­ver­si­ty. She has spent more than ten years intro­duc­ing chil­dren and young adults to lit­er­a­ture and infor­ma­tion lit­er­a­cy at schools and pub­lic libraries. She is the author of Jel­ly Bean’s Art Muse­um Adven­ture and is hon­ored to have been a mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Committee.

Discussion Questions