JLC Labor Seder

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[H/t to A.L.]

My wife and I went to a labor Seder earlier in the week that was organized by the organized by the United Hebrew Trades – New York Division of the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC). It was the first labor Seder for either of us and we had a nice time. The labor Seders were organized to provide an opportunity for “members of the Jewish community and members of the trade union movement to sit down together for a Seder meal and explore the relationships between the traditional story of Pesach and more recent struggles for freedom and dignity”. Labor Seders were held across the country from San Francisco to NYC.

Participants read from a Haggadah published by the JLC which made connections between the Jewish experience of slavery and Diaspora and contemporary immigration reform, the working conditions of Jewish sweatshop workers and those toiling in sweatshops today and anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination and prejudice. In addition to spilling wine to remember the plagues meted out against the ancient Egyptians, we also spilled to acknowledge hunger, slave labor and ethnic cleansing.

We had to leave before the end of the Seder as my wife is getting tired rather early in the evening. The baby is due in about two months and staying out past 8:30 is a stretch. Hope to see all of you (old friends and new) again next year.

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2 responses »

  1. About the Jewish Labor Committee Passover Haggadah:

    Why is this haggadah different from all other haggadahs? Good question.
    While most other haggadahs stick to the retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt, this Haggadah also includes graphics and texts to help relate the historical retelling with a range of quotes to relate “what happened then” to what happens in our own time.

    With descriptions of the occupations of Tamudic-era rabbis, with quotations from [deep breath]

    Samuel Gompers, Berl Katznelson, Philo, Cesar Chavez, Harold Schulweis, Yariv Ben Aharon, David Dubinsky, Albert Memmi, Hanoch of Alexandria, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rose Schneiderman, Sidney Hillman, Eybeshitz, David Twersky, Michael Walzer, Naamah Kelman, Ludwig Lewisohn, Martin Luther King, Jr., Louis Brandeis, Frederick Douglass, Martin Niemoller, Hillel the Elder, Haim Simon, Desmond Tutu, Michael Perry, Ira Eisenstein, Franz Rosenzweig, and Abraham Lincoln, and the poetry of Woody Guthrie and Morris Rosenfeld …

    The JLC Passover Haggadah, is 34 pages waiting to be used together with — or instead of — “the other haggadahs.”

    Copies are still available, for $7.00 each, including shipping and handling. For 10 or more, for you, $5.00 each.

    Orders need to be accompanied with checks, made out to Jewish Labor Committee and sent by regular mail [outside of North America, we suggest airmail].
    Just print this out, reformat if needed, fill out the form below — print please! and send it back to us with your payment.

    Arieh Lebowitz, Communications Director
    Jewish Labor Committee
    25 East 21st Street
    New York, NY 10010

    PLEASE SEND [ ] COPIES OF THE JLC PASSOVER HAGGADAH TO:
    Name: ________________________________________________

    Address: ______________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________

    City/State/ZIP or Post Code: ______________________________

    P.S.: My phone number is: _______________________________

    My email address is: ____________________________________

    My fax number is: _______________________________________

    opeiu:153 {the JLC is a unionized non-profit organization}

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