The Passover story is the Jewish people’s original story of becoming strangers in a strange land. It is the story that reminds us that we, too, have stood in the shoes of refugees and asylum seekers in search of safety and liberty.

With more displaced people around the world than at any time in recorded history, the words of the Haggadah are more poignant and relevant than ever before. As we read these words, we are commanded to put ourselves back into the narrative, to consider ourselves as though we, too, went out from Egypt, from the narrow place. We do this so that we may rise up renewed in our commitment to stand together as a thriving American Jewish movement supporting today’s refugees and asylum seekers.

On Passover, we have the opportunity to remind ourselves why we do this work – to remind ourselves that this is our sacred obligation, amplified by our historic communal experience.

As we lift our voices in song and prayer, we call out together with those who long to be free. This year, there are still many who struggle towards liberation; next year, may we all be free.

Mark Hetfield
President and CEO


haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: HIAS Haggadah 2019