Social Justice Passover Resources

Passover is the Jewish holiday that celebrates freedom. At its best, it's an incredible, interactive experience that challenges us to recognize the incongruence of our privileges and freedoms with the slavery and oppression that still exists in the world. At its worst, it's a holiday of internal oppression, forcing us to focus on the mundane tasks at hand; cleaning, cooking, cleaning, preparing a seder, shopping, and more cleaning. Too often we miss the point of what the holiday is actually about.

When discussing what we wanted SOJOURN to be, we knew that we could not exist in a vacuum. While the GSD (gender and sexual diversity) cause and experience is our main focus, our Jewish tradition teaches us to be aware of all of those who are oppressed, and it calls us to action. The Passover seder is the perfect time to explore the ways in which oppression and slavery still exist in our world. We've compiled some of the best and most thought-provoking resources for you to consider.

We have chosen some specific resources to highlight here, and at the bottom of this post we have included the link to the main resource pages for the organizations whose work we've used. Please feel free to add any that we may have left out in the comments below. 


The Food We Eat (and where it comes from)

- A Tomato on the Seder Plate The Coalition for Imokalee Workers is a coalition of farmworkers committed to ending the abusive conditions in Florida's tomato fields.

- Equal Exchange Fair Trade Chocolate This kosher for Passover chocolate is produced ensuring that safe and healthy practices are used, there is no child labor, with gender equality, workers are paid a living wage, and more.

- Our Slavery Footprint  How many slaves were involved (child labor, forced labor, abusive conditions) in the food that we eat at the seder? This infographic spells it out.

Income, Wealth, Inequality

- One Family: The Four Children and the Disparity of Wealth How can we recognize our bonds from person to person when we are so seemingly separated?

- The Four Children A modern take on the attitudes towards activism, as displayed by four children.

- Invisible: The Story of Modern Slavery A social justice haggadah.

On Freedom

- What's the Price of Freedom? A collection of modern and ancient texts discussing freedom, prepared for a discussion-style conversation.

- The Day After The Seder We ask ourselves a number of challenging questions at the seder. How do we continue to ask these questions after it is over?

- Exodus, Freedom, and Responsibility A text/source sheet resource and facilitator's guide on our contemporary obligation to pursue justice.

GSD-Specific

- Pride Freedom Seder A pride seder haggadah, from Congregation Sha'ar Zahav

- The GLBT-Focused Haggadah from JQ International

- The Orange on the Seder Plate - The real story behind the custom of adding an orange to the seder plate.

 

More Resources

T'ruah: the rabbinic call for human rights

Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies

SOJOURN's Passover Resource Page

The Religious Action Center

American Jewish World Service

Haggadot.com

Jewish Reconstructionist Movement

 


Comment

Robbie Medwed

Robbie Medwed began working with SOJOURN when it was known as The Rainbow Center as a volunteer in 2008. He served as chair of the TRC Advisory Board and as co-chair of Purim off Ponce (2010, 2011) before moving into his current role as Assistant Director, where he oversees SOJOURN's educational programming and outreach, including our award-winning workshops and training seminars. Robbie holds a master's degree in Jewish education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has written curricula and nationally-recognized inclusive programs for the Marcus JCC of Atlanta, BBYO, USY, Camp Ramah, the Jewish Teen Funders Network, Babaganewz, and JewishGPS. Robbie is also a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and cyclist. Robbie can be reached at robbie@sojourngsd.org.