Page of the Sis­ter Hag­gadah,’ from Spain in the 1300s, British Library

Seder in Motion: A Hag­gadah to Move Body and Soul

Ron Isaacs, Leo­ra Isaacs, Mar­tin Wick­strom (illus.)

In their intro­duc­tion to Seder in Motion, the authors invite par­tic­i­pants to ful­ly engage your­self — body, mind, and soul — in the mir­a­cle of redemp­tion and free­dom that is Passover.”

This hag­gadah pre­serves some of the orig­i­nal text but adapts most for a child-friend­ly retelling of the Exo­dus. The com­men­tary incor­po­rates fam­i­ly-friend­ly activ­i­ties that encour­age reflec­tive move­ment, think­ing, and sense per­cep­tion to draw the read­er deep­er into per­son­al action with the rit­u­als and read­ings of the Seder. The authors also sug­gest activ­i­ties if mem­bers of your Seder are join­ing you online. The lay­out of the text is bright and col­or­ful, and its images reflect eth­nic and cul­tur­al diver­si­ty, along with an egal­i­tar­i­an eth­ic. Seder in Motion is a good choice for fam­i­lies that seek to deeply con­nect with the mean­ing of Passover in a holis­tic, child-cen­tered but adult acces­si­ble way. It is appro­pri­ate for Passover guests of any age.

Out of the Nar­rows: The Artists’ Hag­gadah — A Visu­al Midrash

Jew­ish Artists Col­lec­tive Chicago

The Jew­ish Artists Col­lec­tive of Chica­go, found­ed in 2016, is a com­mu­ni­ty of mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary artists joined by a com­mon mis­sion of cre­at­ing con­tem­po­rary, engag­ing, and thought­ful work that reflects Jew­ish themes and values.”

Out of the Nar­rows was born out of the desire to con­nect the themes of Passover with the real­i­ties of cel­e­brat­ing the hol­i­day dur­ing the COVID pan­dem­ic. The Hag­gadah includes full-col­or images and thought­ful per­son­al reflec­tions on the artists’ pieces. The pieces are paired with the themes of the rit­u­als and read­ings of an adapt­ed and abbre­vi­at­ed — but main­ly orig­i­nal — text. The Haggadah’s lay­out is beau­ti­ful­ly craft­ed, as one might expect from a book designed by artists. Out of the Nar­rows is a visu­al feast, and is appro­pri­ate for adult audi­ences com­fort­able with draw­ing their own dis­cus­sion from the themes found in the Seder and the accom­pa­ny­ing art.

The Hag­gadah About Noth­ing: The (Unof­fi­cial) Sein­feld Haggadah

Rab­bi Sam Reinstein

The Hag­gadah About Noth­ing takes its name from the sit­com Sein­feld, described by its cre­ators as a show about noth­ing.” Its author, Rab­bi Sam Rein­stein, is a Mod­ern Ortho­dox Rab­bi and Sein­feld afi­ciona­do; he con­trasts the pur­pose of the Seder — to spir­i­tu­al­ly ele­vate its par­tic­i­pants — to the ethos of Sein­feld, in which the char­ac­ters nev­er change.

In this jux­ta­po­si­tion, The Hag­gadah About Noth­ing encour­ages us how not to be and under­scores the remark­ably trans­for­ma­tive pow­er of the Seder expe­ri­ence. The author pairs a tra­di­tion­al Hag­gadah text with excerpts, anec­dotes, quotes, and com­men­tary on the char­ac­ters and episodes of this for­ma­tive tele­vi­sion com­e­dy. As a text-heavy edi­tion, The Hag­gadah About Noth­ing is designed for adult audi­ences that appre­ci­ate the inter­sec­tion of Judaism and pop culture.

The Hitler Hag­gadah: A Moroc­can Jew­’s Wartime Retelling of the Passover Story

Simon Coif­feur

The Hitler Hag­gadah was com­posed in Judeo-Ara­bic by Nis­sim ben Shi­mon. Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Rabat in 1943, it is a retelling of the Passover sto­ry through the eyes of the Holo­caust vic­tims of Nazi Germany’s North African cam­paign and the dev­as­ta­tion brought on North African Jewry.

It also cel­e­brates lib­er­a­tion through the vic­to­ry of Oper­a­tion Torch — the Allied forces cam­paign in North Africa. The book is a mul­ti­lin­gual edi­tion, includ­ing Eng­lish and Hebrew trans­la­tions of the Judeo-Ara­bic, an intro­duc­tion to each trans­la­tion, and com­men­tary by Avishai Bar-Ash­er, Adi Schnytzer, and Jon­nie Schnytzer — aca­d­e­mics from Hebrew and Bar Ilan Uni­ver­si­ty respec­tive­ly. It also includes a fac­sim­i­le of the orig­i­nal text. This Hag­gadah fol­lows the struc­ture and lin­guis­tic style of a tra­di­tion­al Hag­gadah, more read­i­ly rec­og­niz­able in the Hebrew trans­la­tion. The Hitler Hag­gadah is a cap­ti­vat­ing win­dow into the expe­ri­ences of North African Jews dur­ing World War II, a less-explored dimen­sion of Holo­caust his­to­ry. This Hag­gadah can be used to sup­ple­ment your Seder but does not include the orig­i­nal Hag­gadah text. How­ev­er, The Hitler Hag­gadah is a wor­thy addi­tion to a col­lec­tion of Passover books and Judaica.

Fruits of Free­dom: The Torah Flo­ra Hagadah

Jon Green­berg

Jon Greenberg’s Fruits of Free­dom Hag­gadah is a prod­uct of the author’s two loves: agron­o­my and Torah study. As the Seder is a food-cen­tered rit­u­al, Fruits of Free­dom offers expla­na­tions from the nat­ur­al world to reveal unfa­mil­iar mean­ings of every detail of the Seder, from the table set­tings and the menu to the col­or of the wine and ingre­di­ents in the charoset.”

The author deep­ens and expands our under­stand­ing of the Bible and rab­binic world by con­nect­ing it to the agri­cul­tur­al and cul­tur­al his­to­ry of these peri­ods — as well as tra­di­tion­al and con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish thought. Fruits of Free­dom includes the orig­i­nal Hag­gadah text with a run­ning com­men­tary of addi­tion­al read­ings, col­or pho­tographs, and expla­na­tions that expand a reader’s appre­ci­a­tion of how pro­found­ly influ­enced the Passover Seder, and Judaism as whole, was and con­tin­ues to be by the world around us.

Mishkan HaSeder: A Passover Haggadah 

Rab­bi Hara Per­son, Jes­si­ca Green­baum (edi­tor)

Mishkan HaSeder is the newest pub­li­ca­tion of the CCAR Press Mishkan series of litur­gi­cal texts. It fol­lows the for­mat of pair­ing litur­gi­cal text and poet­ry adopt­ed by the Mishkan series.

As Rab­bi Hara Per­son shares in her intro­duc­tion, it became clear that we need­ed a new Hag­gadah to add to our ever-grow­ing col­lec­tion, one using the mod­el already devel­oped in our oth­er litur­gi­cal publications…with the famil­iar Hag­gadah litur­gy on the right side and poet­ry on the left, again design­ing a con­ver­sa­tion between the his­toric text of the Hag­gadah and poems deal­ing with sim­i­lar themes or imagery.” The inter­play between poet­ry and litur­gy is height­ened by the artist Tobi Kahn. The tra­di­tion­al litur­gy of the Hag­gadah is adapt­ed, expand­ed, and inter­pret­ed for a mod­ern audi­ence to build a clos­er con­nec­tion and deep­er under­stand­ing to the themes of Passover. The text also offers a guid­ed expe­ri­ence for par­tic­i­pants, open­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty for greater inter­ac­tiv­i­ty and col­lab­o­ra­tion. Mishkan HaSeder is beau­ti­ful­ly craft­ed and visu­al­ly appeal­ing. It is best suit­ed for an adult audi­ence that is respon­sive to the writ­ten word and sen­si­tive to the inter­play between lan­guage and the visu­al arts.

Jonathan Fass is the Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Edu­ca­tion­al Tech­nol­o­gy and Strat­e­gy at The Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion Project of New York.