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. At this interpretative seder, storytellers will share what freedom means to them through personal stories, reflections, and performance - which they have worked closely with partner organization First Person Arts to develop - in place of the traditional retelling of the Exodus narrative. This year's stories range from personal experiences in a Japanese internment camp in the US during WWII, to a contemporary border crossing from Mexico, to the intersections of art and activism, and the life journey of a Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union. Storytellers and performers: Ruth Naomi Floyd, Vocalist/Composer and Director of Jazz Studies, Cairn University; Hiro Nishikawa, Philadelphia JACL Speakers Bureau; Amateur Historian on WWII camps; Ph.D. Biochemist retired from GSK; Grandparent; Erika Guadalupe Núñez, Artist, Community Organizer; Board Member of Vamos Juntos; Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Leader and Author of the original 1969 Freedom Seder; Founder and Director, The Shalom Center; Henry Yampolsky, Mediator, Collaborative Lawyer and Conflict Coach. With remarks from Mayor Jim Kenney, and a screening of visitor stories from the "It's Your Story" recording booths. Emcee: R.H. Levin, NMAJH Community Relations Liaison. Presented in partnership with First Person Arts and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Community partners: Al- Bustan Seeds of Culture, Art Sanctuary, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania, Jews in ALL Hues, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Repair the World: Philadelphia, Taller Puertorriqueño, and The Shalom Center.
Wednesday, March 15 & Thursday, April 27. "Apres le Deluge: How World War I Transformed the Jewish People, 1919-1932." World War I significantly impacted Jewish life around the world. It resulted in the collapse of Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian Empires, each with a major Jewish population. The break up of the Czarist Empire led to the founding of the USSR and the founding of an independent Poland, each with large and vulnerable Jewish communities. Following the war, the British Mandate in Palestine was established and at the same time xenophobic legislation closed the door to the United States. Finally, conditions after the war in Germany fostered the rise of Nazism in Germany and laid the groundwork for the Holocaust. These and other allied topics will be discussed in the panoramic presentation on Jewish history, 1919-1932. Instructors: Rabbi Lance J. Sussman Ph.D. with Joan Myerson Shrager, M.Ed..