This latest version of the Sholem Family Hagada is one of scores of “alternate” hagadas in use throughout the world. Many are the creations of Secular and Humanistic Jews who, unwilling to recite deistic formulas or to accept as literal truth the presentations of myth in the traditional hagada, nevertheless find great significance in the historical allusions of peysakh and in maintaining folk traditions in a communal-family setting. We gratefully acknowledge the concepts — and, often, the texts — gleaned from many secular hagadas.
It is in meeting the needs of families that this secular hagada is different from most others of its kind. We have taken care to keep the language fairly accessible to children, while avoiding the childish tone that might repel or bore adults. This is especially true in the sections specifically designated to be read by children.
This hagada reflects growing awareness of the mythological nature of the Exodus story — long known to careful readers of Jewish history, archaeology, and comparative folklore. At the same time, it honors the folk traditions that took inspiration from the legend to imbue generations with a commitment to social justice and equality.
We invite the entire Sholem Community, as well as extended families, friends, and Secular Jews throughout the world, to use this hagada and to suggest ways to improve and enlarge upon our “retelling of our bondage and our liberation.”
—On behalf of The Sholem Community
Hershl Hartman, Educational Director