Why is this night different from all other nights?
At other Passover Seders we focus on our Jewish narrative of slavery, but on this night we use our narrative to begin to understand modern instances of injustice.
Why are we focused on sexual injustice?
Sexual Injustice is a topic that is pervasive in our society today, but not at the forefront of discussion in our community. We want to bring attention and awareness to the issues related to sexual injustice in order begin a process of change.
Why is this year different?
Media has begun to give more coverage to these issues, both in shedding light on sexual violence at universities and portraying positive transgender characters on popular programming. As of 2015, there is full marriage equality in over half of the American states. The University of Maryland, Office of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence was founded one year ago in March 2014, and similar offices are becoming more prevalent on campuses throughout the United States. The University of Maryland also founded the LGBT Equity Center in 2010.There have been strides forward, but our work is not yet complete.
Who does sexual injustice affect?
1/4 of women on college campuses will experience sexual assault during their four years on campus. 10% of people identifying as LGBTQ experience sexual violence or harassment. 800,000 people are trafficked worldwide each year. But the impact of sexual injustice is not limited to those that experience it firsthand.
Why is sexual injusticea taboo topic when it affects so many?
Sexual Injustice has garnered more public attention, but is far from a topic that is completely openly discussed. Misinformation, ignorance, or aversion halt productive conversation and prevent us from moving forward. Tonight we take the first step in opening that conversation.
We acknowledge that “from generation to generation, each of us is obligated to see ourselves as though we personally had just been freed from slavery.” In each generation and each year, we retell the story of the exodus to our children and to our grandchildren, in order that they, too, will understand the pain of slavery and the value of freedom. In the spirit of the Seder, we focus on those in the grips of modern day slavery- in our modern experience, slavery is a life where communication and personal connections are restricted. Moving forward in the Seder we hope to discuss how to increase justice and freedom in our world.
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