The Responsibility of Our Freedom

As we ready for our Passover celebrations, we consider anew the rich imperative of this holiday: to retell the story of our Exodus from Egypt. But Passover, Z’man Cheruteinu, is also a call to action. The story of Passover reminds us of our responsibility to care for those less fortunate than we are, and reminds us, too, how lucky we are to live freely as Jewish people.  

To honor our freedom and our responsibility, we’ve collected a number of resources here that we hope will enhance conversation around your seder table and provide you with some intellectual and cultural nourishment to carry you through the holiday.

A Passover Holiday Headset

Engage: To enhance your seder experience, consider these resources:

Read this blog post about the symbolism of putting a bandage on the seder plate, written by educators at Project Kavod/Dignity at Jewish Family Service of Seattle. The bandage is meant to symbolize those who are in need of healing. 

Take a look at these prompts for conversation, compiled into convenient discussion cards by educators at Jewish Family Service of Seattle.

Contemplate this haggadah supplement, compiled by humanitarian relief agencies HIAS, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and CARE, in cooperation with Focus Features. Inspired by the major motion picture The Zookeeper’s Wife, this supplement offers readings and discussion questions that consider the global refugee crisis of today and our responsibility to offer safe haven to those who are in exodus, all over the world.

Watch: How does eating maror represent our faith, and our freedom to choose? Watch this short animated film by artist, educator and Covenant Foundation grantee Hanan Harchol, and find out.

Listen: Snow/Scorpions and Spiders is an original song by Girls in Trouble, a song cycle about Women in Torah, created by musician, writer, Jewish educator and Covenant Foundation grantee Alicia Jo Rabins. The lyrics of this song explore the emotional experience of Miriam, the biblical prophet who is so central to the Passover narrative.

… and Learn: Now that you’ve heard the song, download the Girls in Trouble curriculum about Miriam (one of 12 in-depth study guides available for download) and explore her character through a Biblical story, rabbinic interpretations, visual art and music.

Teach: In 2010, Political Science Professor Jeffrey Bernstein co-edited a book titled Citizenship Across the Curriculum, which advocated for teaching civic engagement at the college level. Now, seven years later, he and his co-editors have revisited their premise and published an editorial in The Chronicle of Higher Education about the continued—and elevated—need to teach citizenship on campus today.

Eat! From gefilte fish recipes, to instructions on foraging for your seder greens, to ideas for using every last crumb of matzah in your pantry, Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz of The Gefilteria have your Passover cooking needs covered with their Passover Guide, beautifully illustrated by Maya Ish Shalom.

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