Passover 5781/2021

Each year we are invited to rehearse a story of liberation. To practice, to imagine. And each year, when we do, we are new.

Last Passover we were still reeling from being shut at home so suddenly by a gruesome, deadly pandemic. During this year, over half a million people in this country died. A profound uprising for racial justice erupted, the impact of which has only just begun to be felt. A despot was removed from office. We are adapting and learning how to live fully in a time of pandemic.

Now we are again, blessed be, on the brink of Spring. In the 12 moons between we have in big and small ways been playing our part to ensure each generation will have liberation stories of their own to pass down.

This Passover, I invite you to indulge in the invitation to lounge, eat, sing, reflect. Raise a glass to the year we just cycled through as we get a taste, and a renewed hunger for, freedom for us all.

Much love,
Rabbi Alissa Wise

ATTEND A VIRTUAL SEDER


JVP-Seattle Virtual Seder

The second night of Passover – Sunday, March 28
4:30-6:30pm PT / 7:30-9:30pm ET
Register here

The Seattle chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace invites the broader JVP community and all who are seeking connection in these times to join us at our virtual seder table! For our fifteenth annual participatory seder, we will gather on the second night of Passover, Sunday March 28.

Through the telling of the Exodus story, we’ll make connections to present day struggles for liberation, including Palestinian liberation, and experience the journey to liberation together. Although we are sad to not gather in person for the second year in a row, we are excited to connect across time and space with ritual, music, and politics.

Register above for full details & instructions; the event will have real-time captioning. We hope you can join us, and friends & family are welcome too!

Other Welcoming and Liberatory Seders

Here is a sampling of just some of the Passover Seders that you may also attend. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience our vibrant anti/non-zionist Jewish community.

Queer Mikveh Project

Passover Liberation Edition: Smoke & Steam
Thursday, March 25 / 12 Nisan 5781
4–5:30pm PT / 7–8:30pm ET

We prepare for our liberation by using the elemental forces of steam and smoke. This is our first-ever queer mikveh led by Jews of Color (JOC)! Everyone is invited, all bodies, all peoples! We will be joined by creative collaborators including Dr. Koach Baruch Frazier of Tzedek Lab, Dr. Harriette Wimms of the JOC Mishpacha Project, Zuriel the Kolker, Rebeccah Santa Ana Stromberg, and others for a collective ritual mikveh. We will come together for accessible embodied practice, music & song, poetry, and creative celebration in preparation for Passover. Folks can join from their bathtub or with a cup of tea or vessel of water to drink in your mikveh or do a pouring of water as mikveh. This event will be ASL interpreted and captioned, so as to make it as accessible as possible for all members of our communities. Donations from registration will flow to support Black Mycelium Project and Queer Mikveh Project programming and events. Suggested donation is sliding scale $5-50.

Registration for this event is required.
Please RSVP at tinyurl.com/passovermikveh.

Celebrate Passover with Kol Tzedek

West Philadelphia Synagogue
Sunday, March 28, 3–6pm PT, 6–9pm ET

For an all ages, interactive community seder! You provide the food and seder plate. We will provide the Haggadah.

Register for a Second Night Community Seder.

L’Chayim! To Life and Liberation

JVP-NYC Chapter Virtual Seder
Tuesday, March 30, 3:30–5pm PT / 6:30-8pm ET

Come celebrate Passover in a political and communal home for Judaism beyond Zionism. Join us to feel connection and to renew in multi-generational community for the road ahead towards freedom for all. Come one, come all—family, friends and newcomers are invited and welcome at our table!

RSVP here for the Zoom link.

Leaving the Narrow Place: Abolition on the Seder Plate

Kavod and JVP Boston
Wednesday, March 31, 4–5:30pm PT / 7-8:30pm ET

Join Kavod and JVP Boston for a Passover Abolition event, where we will be exploring the connections between local and global prison and police abolition and liberatory Passover rituals and themes. Come learn about and uplift the grassroots organizing of Families for Justice as Healing, whose work is ending the incarceration of women and girls.

Speakers: Leslie Credle, Families for Justice As Healing
Resources: Abolition-An International Struggle; The Torah of Abolition
Zoom registration.

What does Liberation Look Like? Interactive, Intergenerational Passover Celebration

With Benjamin Mertz and R. Lynn Gottlieb, JVPBA, a youth oriented Seder focused on African American spiritual traditions around Exodus
Thursday, April 1, 5-6pm PT / 8–9pm ET
Chochmat HaLev Jewish School, free event!

Music & poetry from African American spiritual traditions; community ritual leadership; 4 questions, 4 children; celebratory dancing. Bring Passover plate items: matzah, maror, karpas (greens to dip in salt water), charoset, and a roasted (or hard boiled) egg, and anything else you want to eat.

Resource: World Beyond Borders Passover Haggadah by R. Lynn Gottlieb, Shomeret Shalom Press, Berkeley, CA 94707

Email lynn@chochmat.org to receive the Zoom link.

LEAD YOUR OWN VIRTUAL SEDER

Use the JVP Liberatory Passover Haggadah from JVP Rabbinical Council and incorporate brand new inserts and readings for this year from the list below:

Black Lives Matter on Passover
This haggadah supplement was produced in the era of the Ferguson uprisings, the season of protest in response to the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. As we look back 5 years on, slogans have evolved from ‘Black Lives Matter’ to ‘Defund the Police’. Most of the contributors to this supplement are Black Jews in movements for justice who are now also active in the Black Jewish Liberation Collective. We honor their work and are pleased to include this supplement.

Garlic On The Seder Plate from Dori Midnight

Reparations Pledge from the Grassroots Reparations Campaign, shared here by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb

Four Ways of Thinking about Plagues in a time of Pandemic by Noah Rubin-Blose

Social Justice Haggadot & inserts put together by Rabbi Andrea Myers and shared via Tzedek Lab

Or use this alternative Haggadah from JVP Havurah Network member Nishmat Shoom: Nishmat Shoom 5781 Haggadah.

Preparing for Passover during Plague: Cleaning & Protection for the Sake of Solidarity & Healing

Join members across the world in a pre-Passover removal of leavened bread ritual and placing of symbolic protection over our doors. On this night we choose to create ritual in solidarity with all people.

View the guide.

This guide includes two rituals:
Clearing out what no longer serves: Creating space for liberation: Pages 2-4
Door ritual: Protection, solidarity & reparations: Pages 5-8

From this guide, here is a collection of beautiful and original downloadable and printable signs to mark your door before, during, or even after Passover. Thank you to these phenomenal artists.

May we pass through together in safety

Download & print this image. 

By artist Nomy Lamm, Kohenet. @nomyteaches

May we all pass safely through

Download & print this image.

By Bekah Starr, Kohenet. @bekahstarrart

Open our hearts, clear our lungs, protect our connections

Download & print this image. 

By Wendy Elisheva Somerson. @wendyelisheva

This is a choose your own adventure. Unlike the Passover Haggadah, you need not go in order or do it all! Take what is resonant into your home and heart.

Co-created with love by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Rae Abileah, Rebekah Erev, Ilana Lerman, & Dori Midnight with art by Nomy Lamm, Wendy Somerson & Bekah Starr.

Poetry to add to your Seder

On The Edge of Pesach by Elliott batTzedek.

Inaugural by Jericho Brown. Listen to or read this poem written for this moment, and as a demand for accountability.

Wash Your Hands by Dori Midnight. The Passover Seder invites us to wash our hands twice; read a verse or two or the whole poem.

Music: A Playlist for Passover

A Playlist for Passover curated by Sol Yael Weiss, who shared: “I included some English songs that feel more political and others that are beautiful melodies for seder liturgy. The playlist includes prayers for Hallel, Kiddush and other services during Pesach in addition to the seder. I also love Min HaMeitzar by Rabbi Micahel Rosenberg as a Pesach song and melody. Couldn’t find it on SoundCloud, so there is a different Min HaMeitzar on the playlist by Josh Blaine. “

And from Margot Seigle: “This is one of mine about birth/new life…”

After the first night of Passover begins, join us for the
Counting of The Omer

March 28–May 16, 5:30-6:00 pm PT/8:30-9:00 pm ET 

The 49 days between Passover and Shavuot, is a portal for spiritual and communal growth. During this time, the barley is ripening in the fields, the lessons of liberation from Egypt are unfolding in our hearts and minds, and our community is growing together.

During this 7-week period between March 28–May 16, we invite you to join us every night for a brief moment of connection, blessings, and learning. Each week will be led by a JVP Havurah Network leader or a rabbi of the JVP Rabbinical Council, who will bring their unique understanding of the divine attributes connected to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life in relation to the present moment.

“This is a process of preparing ourselves for the World to Come, in which we feel ourselves as whole and healed, holding all the wisdom of our unique experience of embodiment on this plane.” – from Golden Dreams of Olam Haba, The World To Come, compiled by Rebekah Erev & Nomy Lamm. We are especially grateful to have this time to connect and reflect during unprecedented times. During this 7-week period between March 28–May 16, we invite you to join us! No experience or previous knowledge required. Open to ALL!

Register for all or any number of the nights.

Virtual Seder Resources

These resources, guides, and videos, were created at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic right before Pesach 5780. They are still useful today and will help you to create your own inclusive Seder: Together Toward Freedom.

 Leading towards Liberation: Virtual Seder Guide

 Virtual Tips for Making & Sharing Your Haggadah

 Video: How to Make a Virtual Haggadah

Video: How to Make Your Seder Interactive & Meaningful

 Tips & Tricks for Bringing Song Into Your Seder

Video: 7 Creative Ways to Bring Singing Into Your Seder

Safety Through Solidarity Haggadah Insert: “Four Children/Four Voices: How do we move towards liberation in these times” from JVP-NYC chapter members Theo Rehm and Eve Feldberg.

Fight for the Health of Your Community. A collection of Passover seder readings by Rabbi Brant Rosen for this moment.

Family Friendly Virtual Seder Guide. An offering from Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb of the JVP Rabbinical Council: Creative, expressive and short! This seder splits parts between households for families across the world to celebrate together over Zoom.  If you enjoy this Haggadah, please donate $3 to Rabbi Gottlieb’s PayPal at rabbilynn@earthlink.net.

What to Do in a Pandemic Animal Coloring Pages: Original illustrations by Ricardo Levins Morales, adapted for coloring pages by Cory Teshera-Levye. PDF Files, to print on 8.5×11″ or A4 paper: All 10 Animals | Stay Aware Fox | Support Loon | Limit Exposure Beavers | Wash Frequently Butterfly | Calm Turtle | Check In Cubs | Offer Support Elephant | Resting Leopard | Accept Feelings Dog | Organizer Bee These files are free for non-commercial use. If you would like to support the artist with a donation, make a purchase from this site, or send via Paypal to ricardo@rlmartstudio.com.

Resources from Years Past
(before the Pandemic)

HAGGADOT

Compilation of Radical Haggadot from Lefty Shabbaton.

Passover Toolkit: Setting the Stage for the Great Narrative of Liberation 5775/2015. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb offers a pared-down Passover seder with inspiration and room for contemplation.

Passover/Pesaj Haggadah from JVP-Tuscon’s Cross-Border Solidarity Seder 5776/2016 from JVP-Tucson At the Mexico/US Border Wall: For us, Passover is about building community and collectively visioning what freedom truly means. Here is a beautiful video of this experience.

HAGGADAH SUPPLEMENTS AND INSERTS

Yachatz / Matzah Dedication JVP Haggadah Supplement 5779/2019 from Rachel Kipnes, Zora Berman, Rabbi Margaret Holub, Rabbi Dev Noily, Rachel Lee, Channa Rose Rabinovitz & Ilana Lerman

Maggid: Telling the Story of How a People Gets Free 5778/2018, from Arian Katz & Miriam Grossman of the JVP Rabbinical Council

Dayenu! Basta! Halas! We’ve had enough!, from Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb

OTHER RESOURCES

 A Guide to Difficult Conversations about Israel and Palestine

 JVP Family Recipes

WATCH JVP’S STORY

Back in the mid-90s, three young Jewish women realized they could no longer keep silent about Israel’s occupation – and decided to do something about it. Watch their story – our story – here.

Deadly-Exchange-Both-Mockup-Social

GET THE DEADLY EXCHANGE REPORT

Researching the American Israeli Alliance and Jewish Voice for Peace’s report reveals the extent of massive training programs between U.S. law enforcement and Israeli police, military, and the Shin Bet.

End the Deadly Exchange

When US law enforcement trade tactics with the Israeli police and military, Israel deepens its military occupation and the US heightens its violence of policing.

Booking.com: Tell the Truth

Days ago, Booking.com bowed to pro-Israel activists and started describing all of Jerusalem as a “city in Israel” – literally erasing Palestinian East Jerusalem. Let’s get Booking.com to tell the truth: East Jerusalem is occupied territory.

Senators: Investigate Israeli Violence!

No one should be killed for taking part in a peaceful protest. It’s up to us to call on progressive Senators to investigate Israel’s massacre in Gaza that killed over 100 Palestinians wounded 12,000 others.

Huge Palestinian march with text overlaid reading "support the #greatreturnmarch"