About Our Haggadah

Haggadah Section: Introduction

For over two decades, a small group of us has celebrated Passover together. When we came together, we - like many American Jews - were somewhat disconnected from Jewish tradition. Despite this, we all felt strongly that our Jewish heritage (about which we had varying degrees of knowledge) had shaped our values and - for those of us who were artists - influenced our work.

At first, none of us really knew how to go about making a Seder. We had to search out recipes and ask a local rabbi to help us put together a Haggadah that was not male-centered. Our first Haggadah was pieced together from a number of contemporary approaches but even these often referred to a male God which we replaced with a gender neutral term. In retrospect, it is clear that we were searching for a meaningful path for our practice, which evolved slowly. By the early 1990's, Judy Chicago (who is descended from 23 generations of rabbis but nonetheless, raised in a secular home) and her husband, photographer Donald Woodman, began to put together a Haggadah that reflected our personal approach to the Seder, one that was rooted in tradition but updated that tradition in a contemporary manner. Its underlying philosophical framework grows out of what we believe is the very definition of what it means to be Jewish, that is; because we were once slaves in Egypt and became free, it is our responsibility to work for the freedom of everyone.

Our Haggadah - which is illustrated by Judy Chicago - grows out of our shared, passionate commitment to justice. Its intention is to provide a pathway for Jews like us; Jews who want to celebrate Passover but aren’t sure about how to do that in a way that makes sense today; Jews who are dissatisfied with the patriarchal bias of traditional Jewish practice; Jews who have blended families (for example; mixed marriages, ethnically and/or racially diverse or non-traditional families) along with anyone who understands that the Passover Seder can be a powerful path to affirming hope in a world that can sometimes seem completely hopeless.

We offer here a few pages of our Haggadah. By next year, we plan to make it available for purchase through this site via Amazon. In the meantime, we wish everyone a Happy Passover as Jews all over the world participate in the Seder and its universal hope for a joyful future.

Judy Chicago / Donald Woodman Haggadah

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Passover Guide

Hosting your first Passover Seder? Not sure what food to serve? Curious to
know more about the holiday? Explore our Passover 101 Guide for answers
to all of your questions.


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