Since many of us last gathered around the seder table, Palestinian Freedom Riders attempted to board Jewish-only buses in the West Bank to reach Jerusalem, a second flotilla of international human rights activists attempted to break the siege of Gaza, and the spirit of Tunisia and Tahrir square continued to spread around the world, birthing the Occupy movement in this country.
The story we tell each year around the seder table is a story that we are, according to Jewish tradition, required to tell to our children generation after generation. In truth, I find, we actually tell it out of necessity. After all, our lives and experiences are part of the continuation of the liberation story of the Exodus. Our stories, too, are stories of solidarity and ally-ship, stories of healing and resilience, stories of celebration and gratitude.
As we head into this Passover, we are pausing to celebrate the community of organizers, activists and supporters that make up Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews and non-Jews alike. Even if you don’t celebrate the Passover holiday, we invite you to join us to reflect in celebration of the past year, and to find inspiration for the coming year—because we know we have our work cut out for us. Israel continues to push for war with Iran; the institutional Jewish community continues its McCarthyite practices of shutting down conversations about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; and we are already hard at work supporting the historic votes on selective divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation in both the Methodist and Presbyterian churches.
As you gather around your seder table, we urge you to reflect on these urgent issues, seeking inspiration, a new perspective, or some creativity for how we organize and build our work. We are pleased to offer you this JVP Hagaddah, newly revised for 2012/5772, as a guide for your gathering.
Thank you to Jessica Rosenberg, Vincent Calvetti-Wolf, and Wendy Somerson for revising and improving the Hagaddah for this year and to Barbara Barefield who designed it for us—just another reminder that JVP members make this organization the dynamic, wonderful organization that it is.
Rabbi Alissa Wise
JVP Director of Campaigns