MCC News & Updates

A Passover Message from Executive Director Rabbi Joanna Samuels

As the Book of Exodus recounts, the Israelite people were enslaved for generations by a cruel Pharaoh in Egypt. After years of torment, God heard the cries of the people and liberated them from slavery, enabling them to cross through the Sea of Reeds to freedom.  But the story, as told during the Passover Seder (the festive meal), does not live in the annals of history.  The magic of Passover is that it invites participants to personalize this ancient story, inviting all people to understand our own histories and our own present days.

We are invited to place ourselves in the story. What are examples of current-day slavery, from which people need to be liberated? Are they places? Are they mindsets? And what does liberation look like for each one of us? Is liberation a change of venue, a change of heart, a change of approach? What would a liberated world look like?

With these questions in mind, we created Telling the Story: A Haggadah for Our Immigrant City as a vehicle for members of our rich immigrant community to share and celebrate their personal freedom narratives with our diverse Lower East Side neighborhood. If you celebrate Passover, we hope that you will download our Haggadah to reflect on our collective journey towards liberation. And if you belong to another faith tradition, we hope you will also make use of this Haggadah, as a vehicle by which you can reflect on your own journey towards liberation.  Each one of us—regardless of who we are, where we are from, and where we are going—is part of a larger story of humanity.  May we collectively move ourselves and each other toward a world of freedom and dignity.

Download a preview copy of Telling the Story: A Haggadah for Our Immigrant City here.

And we hope that you will join us in deepening our connectedness across cultures through the ritual of a community Freedom Seder on May 31st at 6 PM. Kindly RSVP here by Thursday, May 24th. 

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