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Passover Racial Justice Resources

Join us as we continue our 3,000-year old march from slavery to freedom for all people. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will follow the lead of those most directly affected by the evils of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality. Rooted in our enduring Jewish values and in deep relationship across lines of difference, we will take moral action in Washington, DC, state capitals around the country and beyond from May 14 to June 23, 2018. We invite you to add this call to action for the Poor People’s Campaign to your Passover Seder. This responsive reading links the song Dayenu (“it would have been enough”) to portions of Rev. William Barber, II’s address to the 2017 URJ Biennial calling upon our community to join the Poor People’s Campaign. 

This song is one of many that communities will be singing as they take action with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. In the words of  Cantor Mary Thomas of Temple Beth-El in Charlotte, NC, who learned this song at a training for the Poor People’s Campaign: “B’chol dor vador – in every generation – the Passover story prepares us to hear, see, feel and to act in response to the injustices of our times, so that the muscle-memory of a people trained for generations to seek justice and to love mercy will propel us forward. There is a Poor People’s Campaign organizing, a calling to change the moral narrative of our country, to shift the dialogue towards justice. This recording from the Poor People’s Campaign captures Yara Allen lifting up through song what we know to be true. Injustice is real and injustice is right now. Somebody’s hurting my brother and it’s gone on far too long. And we won’t be silent anymore.”

As we celebrate the Jewish people’s biblical redemption from oppression, we feel the pain of those not yet redeemed. At seder tables, we ask four questions to remind ourselves of our purpose. This year, we ask you to add four more questions to connect our ancient rituals to the demands of this moment in the struggle for racial justice.

Charoset is our symbol of mortar, recalling the brutal work conditions experienced by the Israelite slaves in Egypt. This year, we introduce a Charoset recipe that includes pine nuts.

This variation of the Four Questions ritual includes question that connects the struggles of the Israelites to the struggles of those who are discriminated against and oppressed in our society today. 

​This Haggadah can be used to lead a seder focusing on the struggles of discrimination, injustice and freedom.

Jews For Racial & Economic Justice collaborated with activists and leaders from around the country, including leaders in the Reform Movement's Racial Justice campaign to produce this haggadah supplement. It includes additions to the seder rituals & haggadah text intended to highlight the role Jews must play in advancing racial justice.

Created by the Jewish Working Group to End the New Jim Crow - a collaboration between the Woodstock Jewish Congregation in Woodstock, New York, Jewish Currents magazine, T’ruah and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, this supplement is intended to raise awareness about mass incarceration. The first part, a new item for the seder plate, is for reading after Karpas (dipping the parsley in salt water). The second part includes four new questions and can be a substitute or addition to the Maggid (storytelling) section. The final section includes songs and references for further study. 

Created by Rabbi Rachel Greengrass in collaboration with the National Council of Jewish Women, this reading teaches us how Passover is the only holiday where the Torah gives a second chance for those who missed its initial observance. In the spirit of second chances, communities in Florida can use this guide to start conversation about Florida's voting laws and the opportunity to change them in November 2018. In November, a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution will appear on the ballot that would restore voting eligibility to most of Florida's 1.4 million formerly incarcerated people, offering those who have served their time a second chance.