Press Releases

New JDC Haggadah Captures Rich History of Jewish Rescue and Renewal

Commentary by Renowned Author and Journalist Ari L. Goldman


Michael Geller / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0838

Jamie Epstein / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0849

/ In Every Generation: The JDC Haggadah Telephone: 212-687-6200

For Immediate Release

Publication Funded by Eppler Family in Honor of Former JDC President Heinz Eppler

Just in time for this year’s Passover seder, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, has published. This new Passover Haggadah, whose publication was funded by the children of former JDC President Heinz Eppler for his 80 birthday, retells the biblical tale of Jewish freedom and redemption utilizing newly released photographs, letters, and documents from the celebrated JDC archives.

“Publishing a Haggadah wasn’t an obvious thing for JDC to do, but the idea really resonated with us as Jewish freedom and continuity are, after all, what we’re all about. And certainly those are the values, woven throughout the Passover story, that motivate JDC’s work in Jewish communities around the globe,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager. “What also inspired JDC to get behind the project was the idea that the Haggadah honor one of its esteemed former presidents, Heinz Eppler, who was at the pinnacle of JDC leadership when our decades-long battle for the freedom of Jews in Communist lands was coming to a head.”

While the Passover story from the Book of Exodus seems distant today, its themes of rescue, relief, and renewal are as fresh as they are ancient, says Columbia University professor, journalist and author Ari L. Goldman in his commentary to In Every Generation. Goldman elucidates this point through photographs of Jews in times of emergency from pre-state Israel to post-Holocaust Europe ... from the Soviet Union ... to Ethiopia. These pictures, and other accompanying documents, portray moving images of Jews narrowly escaping tragedy.

In Every Generation also recalls how JDC over more than 95 years has helped liberate Jews in distress and provided for both their physical and spiritual needs in times of disaster and upheaval. To accomplish this unique historical depiction, JDC opened its vast archives of photographs, letters, and documents, many of them never before made public.

Firsthand accounts by rescuers and those rescued are combined with powerful photos and documents that complement the full traditional text. From the opening Passover kiddush to the ever-memorable chad gadya, In Every Generation delivers a unique and thought-provoking format to showcase this ancient tale of freedom and liberation.

Advance praise for In Every Generation has included such recognized American Jewish religious leaders as Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Rabbi David Ellenson, and Rabbi David Wolpe.

“No book has been more treasured in the Jewish home than the Haggadah and Jews have celebrated Passover by illuminating and commenting upon its eternal tale of liberty in countless versions over the millennia,” said Rabbi Ellenson. “Through its pictures and captions drawn from the archives of JDC, this unique edition of this ancient text portrays the variety and breadth of our people and communicates in a powerful and authentic voice the journey from degradation to freedom that the Haggadah celebrates and that the Joint Distribution Committee makes possible. It is a most welcome addition to liturgical expression in our time and will inspire and instruct countless Jews and others gathered around the seder table for years to come.”

For more information on how to purchase copies of In Every Generation: The JDC Haggadah call 212-687-6200. Copies can also be purchased in major book and Judaica stores in the U.S. In Every Generation is published by Devorah Publishing and is available in paperback for $17.95 or hardcover for $24.95.

About JDC

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.

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