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Exhibition: Haggadah and History: Highlights from Fordham’s Collection

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 8 a.m.Friday, May 31, 2019, 5 p.m.

Walsh Library, O’Hare Special Collections Room
Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus, 441 E. Fordham Rd.
Bronx, NY 10458
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In 1975, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi published his masterful volume Haggadah and History, a visual history of the Haggadah since the early decades of printing until the year his book appeared. The Haggadah, as Yerushalmi noted, is “the most popular and beloved” of Jewish books. What is remarkable about the Haggadah is its historical adaptability. As Jews around the world each year during Passover recount the story of Exodus from Egypt, they make it relevant to their own lives, reflecting on the meaning of the story to their own times. Haggadot, therefore, often reflect not only the historical changes in Jewish culture but also the cultural diversity of Jews across the globe. On display at Fordham are Haggadot in Amharic, Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, Judaeo-Persian, Polish, German, Swedish, and Yiddish. Also on display will be our most recent acquisition: a Haggadah in Braille. You will see examples of lavish medieval manuscripts (here in high quality facsimiles), a children’s Haggadah from 1937 with pullouts, disposable commercial Haggadot produced by businesses seeking to promote their products among Jewish consumers, fundraising and activist Haggadot, and more.

This exhibit is co-curated by Fordham undergraduate students Emma Fingleton, FCRH ’19; Margaret Keiley FCRH ’21; and Zowie Kemery, FCRH’19; and Professor Magda Teter.