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Freedom Seder Revisited

National Museum of American Jewish History

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Exhibitions & Lectures

Apr 04, 1969 – Freedom Seder on the 1st Anniversary of MLK's Assassination

April 4, 1969 was the first anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr It was also the third night of Passover, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the story of the Exodus in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. At the intersection of these two events in 1969, hundreds of people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds gathered in a church in the heart of Washington, D.C. to celebrate freedom.

For the first time, the ancient Jewish story of liberation was intertwined with a current struggle for liberation: Black America’s fight for equal rights. This monumental event is now known as the original Freedom Seder. Jews around the world are told they must teach the Passover story to their children, to the next generation. In 1969, leaders interpreted that message in the context of the Civil Rights Movement. They brought together a group of people from all backgrounds to celebrate a common desire and right: freedom. How do current generations relate to the freedom experiences of their predecessors? What does freedom mean to them? What stories would they share? Join us for an evening of commemoration, stories, and a multi-cultural celebration of freedom.

This program has been supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Presented with Operation Understanding, in partnership with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts and in conjunction with the special exhibition Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges.


TAGS: Freedom
Artistic Credits

David Acosta: Writer, Poet, Activist, and Cultural Worker
Deborah Block: Co-Artistic Director, Theatre Exile
Rev. Alfred T. Day, III: Pastor, Historic St. Georges United Methodist Church
Hon. David Oh: Councilman At-Large, Minority Whip, City Council of Philadelphia
Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, Ph.D.: 52nd Pastor, Mother Bethel AME Church
Rabbi Arthur Waskow: Founder and Director, The Shalom Center; Leader and Author of the original 1969 Freedom Seder


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    Showtimes for:
    Mar 28, 2013
    6:30 pm   
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