HIAS has created a supplement to the traditional Passover Haggadah that tells the stories of refugees around the world fleeing violence and persecution. It also highlights ways refugees across the United States have rebuilt their lives and revitalized their local communities.
From the supplement:
The Passover Seder plate is one of the oldest symbolic representations of the Jewish people’s historic refugee experience. From dipping green vegetables into salt water in order to recall the salty tears cried by our Israelite ancestors as they endured slavery to the hope for renewal and rebirth symbolized by the round egg, each item on the plate articulates a key component of our Israelite ancestors’ difficult journey from oppression to freedom.
In the face of unprecedented efforts to limit refugees’ ability to seek safety in the United States – even as more people are displaced by violence and persecution than ever before – these powerful symbols of both the unimaginable suffering and the boundless resilience and hope of refugees feel particularly poignant. This Passover, let us consider these symbols in the context of the contemporary refugee crisis, discuss our connections to this important issue, and rise from our Seder tables committed to ensuring that refugees worldwide find a safe place to call home.