The Sarajevo Haggadah

Haggadah Section: Commentary / Readings

The Sarajevo Haggadah

A remarkable story of interfaith solidarity and care:

The Sarajevo Haggadah is considered the most elaborately decorated codex remaining from Spanish Jewry’s Golden Age. It is named after the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo where it is kept in the National Museum.  

The 14th century text is remarkable not only for its exquisite design, master-craftsmanship and rare drawings from pre-Inquisition Spain, but also for its own exodus story. It traveled through many different cultures and different people took care of it and helped it survive. In the 14th-century, the Haggadah escaped the Spanish Inquisition together with Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula and was brought by refugees to Venice. It was again spared; this time from burning after it was labeled not heretical (17th century Latin inscription on its final page attests to its approval by the Church). In the next three centuries, it travelled from Venice to the crossroad city of Sarajevo, at that point a home to a thriving Jewish community since the Ottoman times.

During World War II and the Nazi occupation of Sarajevo, the Haggadah was again under threat. After Nazis unsuccessfully tried to take the Haggadah from the Sarajevo museum, the museum’s chief librarian, who was an Islamic scholar, tucked the Haggadah under his garb and took it to the Mosque on the outskirts of the city where it survived the war. Afterwards, the book was back in the museum by 1992 when the city came under heavy shelling during the Bosnian war. Another Muslim librarian risked his life to retrieve the manuscript from the burning building and put it in a bank vault.  Today, the Sarajevo Haggadah is back at the National Museum and represents a symbol of Exodus, survival and co-existence.

Inspired to create
your own Haggadah?

Make your own Haggadah and share with other Seder lovers around the world

Have an idea
for a clip?

People like you bring their creativity to when they share their ideas in a clip

Support Us
with your donation

Help us build moments of meaning and connection through
home-based Jewish rituals.


Esther Kustanowitz
4 Haggadahs38 Clips
contributor image
JQ International
1 Haggadah40 Clips
contributor image
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
5 Haggadahs109 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah13 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah78 Clips
contributor image
Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
1 Haggadah36 Clips
contributor image
American Jewish World Service
1 Haggadah44 Clips
contributor image
3 Haggadahs57 Clips
contributor image
Repair the World
12 Clips
contributor image
5 Haggadahs48 Clips
contributor image
Be'chol Lashon
2 Haggadahs27 Clips
contributor image
PJ Library
1 Haggadah17 Clips
contributor image
Jewish World Watch
3 Haggadahs42 Clips
contributor image
Secular Synagogue
10 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah9 Clips
contributor image
The Blue Dove Foundation
12 Clips
contributor image
24 Clips
contributor image
Jewish Emergent Network
1 Haggadah22 Clips

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.

Haggadot by Recustom, is a free resource for all backgrounds and experiences. Consider making a donation to help support the continuation of this free platform.

Copyright © 2024 Custom and Craft Jewish Rituals Inc, dba Recustom, dba
All Rights Reserved. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. EIN: 82-4765805.