As our homes fill with the comforting smells of brisket and matzo ball soup, we anticipate celebrating Passover with our families and friends. We remind ourselves that we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, but now we are free. Avadim hayinu. We were slaves.But even as we celebrate our journey from slavery to freedom, there are those still enslaved in our community, our state and our world.
Perhaps you already know that human trafficking is often called “modern day slavery” and that victims of trafficking are all too often forced into prostitution and forced labor. This year when we fulfill our responsibility to act and take a stand against human trafficking, we have a unique opportunity to remember that we “were once slaves in Egypt” and fulfill the promises of our own Jewish heritage and traditions.
This year, we at NCJW will be dedicating ourselves to raising awareness about human trafficking. The materials below can enhance your Seder or just provide you with materials to share.
The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) has created an anti-trafficking Hagaddah that you can incorporate in your Seder. Click here to download a copy of The Freedom Haggadah, An Anti-trafficking Seder.
Did a slave produce the wheat for my matzah? What about the wine or the egg? Guess how many slaves worked to produced your Seder, and learn what steps you can take to root out slavery in our supply chain. Download T’ruah‘s Passover Taste of Slavery Footprint. T’ruah also offers a print ready Haggadah on fighting modern slavery which features an engaging examination of modern slavery, with classical and contemporary texts. Click here to download The Other Side of the Sea: A Haggadah on Fighting Modern Slavery.
American Jewish World Service offers a number of Passover resources including Haggadah supplements and readings for your Passover Seder. Click here to view and download.
Free the Slaves in collaboration with Rabbi Debra Orenstein, Rabbi Erin Hirsh and other outstanding Jewish educators has created a variety of engaging materials that will highlight modern-day slavery at your Seder including Next Year, Free! A Modern Slavery Curriculum, Seder Starters and Passover Prep. Click here to view and download.
Seder2015 offers several customizable Passover Haggadot inlcuding a Human Trafficking Haggadah Companion. Click here to download.
Moving Traditions offers a Seder supplement titled Hiding and Finding the Matzah—and Ourselves. Click here to view and download.
NCJW Sacramento Section has a human trafficking Seder supplement available. Click here to download.
This year, give an afikomen prize that will make a difference. Donate to JCAST Chicago North Shore’s Action and Advocacy Campaign today! Click here to donate.
May you and your loved ones have a happy and healthy Passover. May the stories of our past inspire each of us to take action for justice and safety in our communities and around the world.
~~ Melissa Prober, Communications Director, NCJW Chicago North Shore and JCAST Chicago