What does freedom mean to you? Inspired by the original 1969 Freedom Seder, where hundreds of people of all backgrounds gathered to explore and celebrate freedom in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, this communal event invites you to the Passover table for an evening of commemoration, stories, and a community exploration of freedom in America today.
What to expect: At this interpretative seder, storytellers will share what freedom means to them through personal stories, reflections, and performance – which they work closely with partner organization First Person Arts to develop – in place of the traditional retelling of the Exodus narrative. As always, participants will enjoy good conversation with friends old and new around the table where everyone will share a little food, a little music, and have access to the Museum’s newest special exhibition, Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music.
Storytellers and Performers:
Stanford Thompson, professional trumpeter and educator; founder and executive director of Play On! Philly
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, founder and leader of the original 1969 Freedom Seder; Founder and Director of The Shalom Center
List in formation
Freedom Seder Ensemble:
Jay Ansill, Nero Catalano, Liz Filios, and Andrew Nelson (music director)
On-screen: Visitors’ stories from our It’s Your Story recording booths
About the 1969 Freedom Seder
On the first anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the third night of Passover, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, this ancient Jewish story of liberation was intertwined with a current struggle for liberation for the first time: Black America’s fight for equal rights, at what is now known as the original Freedom Seder. This tradition has continued. Experience a piece of history and help to create the next chapter.
General operating support is provided by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Board of Trustees, members, and friends of the National Museum of American Jewish History. This program is also supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, through its regional arts funding partnership, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA). State government funding for the arts depends upon an annual appropriation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. PPA is administered in this region by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.
Funding for the National Museum of American Jewish History is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.