During a Passover seder, we open our doors to welcome in friends, family, and strangers alike — which means we need a Haggadah that can help each guest feel included and welcome.
A Haggadah is the book we read from during the Passover meal. Passover, or Pesach, is a Jewish holiday which takes place each spring Learn more about Haggadahs here.
A Haggadah of Our Own is an inclusive and accessible alternative for anyone hosting a Passover seder. Here are the specific steps I'm taking:
- Reviewing existing Haggadahs for ableist, sexist, and racist language and imagery (in order to avoid making similar mistakes)
- Interviewing individuals on their experiences at seders
- Improving visual accessibility, including structuring digital versions for screen readers
- Integrating new additions to the seder, such as oranges (representing LGBTQIA inclusion) and olives (representing the occupation of Palestine)
- Adding representation of Jews of all backgrounds in both images and language
- Providing both traditional and humanist blessings
- Developing a Host's Guide, which covers planning an accessible seder and using the Haggadah (such as emphasizing specific issues or opting for a faster seder)
For examples of Haggadot which are exclusionary, please check the FAQ. Content warning: racism, ableism, and sexism.
An Inclusive Process
The only way to create an inclusive Haggadah is to include perspectives from Jews of all backgrounds.
- We need experts — people who already understand what it means to create accessible events and materials, as well as people who know Jewish history and traditions.
- We need sensitivity readers — people who can review the Haggadah and accompanying materials for insensitive language, bias, and questions of representations.
- We need seder hosts — people who are committed to holding inclusive seders where guests feel comfortable talking about tough topics. (That's where you come in!)
Rewards for Backers
The main reward for backing this Kickstarter is the Haggadah itself — either as a PDF or a print copy. The Haggadah is accompanied by a digital-only Host's Guide to help you prepare an accessible and welcoming seder, from picking menus to picking chairs.
If you're hosting your own seder (or want to replace Bubbe and Zeyde's old-school Haggadahs), there are sets of 10 and 25 books available. Please contact me if you need more than 25 copies or help convincing Bubbe and Zeyde it's time for a change.
You can also choose an invitation to join us for a zero-waste* seder in Portland on April 20, 2019. Catered by Closed Loop Cooking, this seder will give us an opportunity to come together, tell the story of Passover, and eat some amazing food through a sustainably-minded lens.
While the final menu will depend on what fresh produce is available that week at the farmers' market. Tentatively, the menu includes:
- Seder plate items, including a beet (in place of a shank bone), parsley, horseradish, charoset, an egg, orange slices, and olives
- Matzah ball soup
- Brussel sprout salad (using the beet greens from the beet and parsley)
- Kugel with caramelized leeks and chimichurri (which will also use parsley, as well as the same veggies included in the soup)
- Dark chocolate and beet ice cream
*Disposable straws, along with other disposable products, will be available to guests so that we can guarantee access for all attendees.
Need a seder plate that actually has room for new additions (like the orange or the olive, both covered in this Haggadah)? Ceramicist Danelle Porter is creating a unique hand-built seder plate design only available through this Kickstarter. Only three plates are available, so get them before they're gone.
Danelle has already started crafting these plates. Here are some in progress pictures:
The initial draft of A Haggadah of Our Own is already written and I've begun the work of hiring sensitivity readers (paid for with personal funds). This Kickstarter will allow me to pay for design and printing. Fundraising beyond the initial goal will allow me to increase pay for experts, sensitivity readers, and my editor.
Work on the Haggadah is continuing during the Kickstarter and backers will be able to follow along through updates here.
Risks and challenges
Production delays are difficult to predict. I've built extra time into the schedule to allow for any delays, but there is always the risk of a larger delay than I planned for, which could lead to delayed delivery. As production starts, I'll be sharing updates with production specifics and announcements of any delays.
I've worked on multiple projects funded through Kickstarter projects (The Responsible Communication Style Guide is probably the biggest) and have learned a lot from those experiences. More importantly, I've met amazing people who can help me if issues pop up during the campaign, production, and fulfillment. I may not have all the answers myself, but I always know who to ask.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)