CAPTURING THE MOMENT: Centuries of the Passover Haggadah

Modern Art and New Ideas

The twentieth century brings modern art to the illustrated Haggadot.  At the same time significant events in Jewish history also penetrate the Haggadah, both in image and in text.  Images of Jews fleeing from persecution, enslaved in concentration camps, or as young pioneers building the Land of Israel, are weaved into the Passover story.  Social and ideological movements create their own Haggadot. Their members change the traditional text to present contemporary issues, and to express their own ideas and hopes as part of the celebration of the Passover Seder.

Kibbutz Yagur Haggadah

The early kibbutzim (plural of kibbutz) which were socialist, agricultural communes, created their own, mostly secular and non-traditional Haggadot. These Haggadot emphasized the Zionist ideas of returning to the land of Israel, creating a new and just society, and following the path from persecution and Holocaust to freedom and independence.  

Haggadah le-Fesah / Passover Haggadah
[Kibbutz] Yagur, 698 [1938]

Kibbutz haTzfoim

Haggadah shel Pesah / Passover Haggadah 
Kevutsat Ha-tsofim 708 [1948]

Kibbutz Merhavyah

Haggadah shel Pesah / Passover Haggadah
Written by M. 'Amitai, Illustrations: Sheraga Vail
Published by the holidays committee of
Ha-kibuts Ha-‘artsi Ha-shomer Ha-tsa’ir
Merhavyah, 707 [1947]

Haggadah shel Pesah: Service for the First Nights of Passover<br />
Illustrated by Arie Allweil<br />
Tel-Aviv : Sinai, [1956]<br />

In Israel the fight for Independence is weaved into the Passover celebration of freedom with the image of the soldier in combat.  


Haggadah shel Pesah: Service for the First Nights of Passover
Illustrated by Arie Allweil
Tel-Aviv : Sinai, [1956]

Let My People Go: A Haggadah<br />

“Let My People Go” was the slogan of the struggle to free the Jews of the Soviet Union who were not allowed to leave the country (1970s-1980s).

Let My People Go: A Haggadah
Illustrated by Mark Podwal
New York City: Darien House, Inc., c. 1972    


San Diego Women’s Haggadah / Like an Orange<br />

Since the early days of the feminist movement, women have attempted to equate the struggle for freedom in the Passover story with the struggle for women’s rights. Jewish feminists rewrote the text of the Haggadot to represent these struggles.

San Diego Women’s Haggadah

San Diego: Woman's Institute for Continuing Jewish Education, 1986

Like an Orange on a Seder Plate: Our Lesbian Haggadah<br />

Like an Orange on a Seder Plate: Our Lesbian Haggadah
Ruth Simkin
[Canada]: R. Simkin, [1999]
Haggadah for the Liberated Lamb


Haggadah for the Liberated Lamb<br />

Haggadah for the Liberated Lamb
by Roberta Kalechofsky
Marblehead, Mass.: Micah Publications, 1988

February 23, 2017 – June 11, 2017
On display in The Jerry and Bruce Chappell Family Gallery, Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina