Haggadah tell you about online Seders!

The highlight of Pesach (Passover) is the opening meal (Seder) which takes place in the home on the first night two nights of Pesach, although in Israel and in Reform Jewish homes only one Seder is usually held. At the Seder the story of the exodus of Egypt is read from a special prayer book called a Haggadah. Since medieval times the Haggadah has been lavishly illustrated, in both manuscript and printed versions.

In the lead up to Pesach 2021, we’ve been thinking about how to bring people together without physically bringing people together. In collaboration with the fantastic Yahad.net, part of the Jewish Heritage Network, our answer is an online Seder!

The concept is simple. Visit yahad.jewishmuseum.org.uk and discover three Haggadah from our collection. Choice your favourite (or explore the international collection of Haggadah) and create your own Seder room, with a bespoke link that you can send to family and friends. Once set up, link up online and follow the Haggadah together during your Pesach event!

Of the three Jewish Museum London Haggadah we have online, two have been digitised for the first time and are only available via yahad.net.

The first dates to 1757 and was created in Germany. The text is Hebrew with the laws of Passover in Yiddish. The maker chose to draw the text using seven different colours rather than regular writing. It also has some fun flower vase motifs that appear throughout the text. Most excitingly, there is an additional page that folds out to reveal a map of the Holy Land. The various portions of the 12 tribes are coloured differently and it is a copy of the map in the Amsterdam Haggadah of 1712.


The second is 20th century and is a handwritten Haggadah and Song of Songs in Sephardi Hebrew script, It was drawn by Hamy Bekhor in Cairo in 1929. It’s Velvet-bound, hand-sewn manuscript on vellum in a blue velvet case. The artist includes an illustration of a piano as a reference to his family’s connection with the piano trade.

Our third Haggadah was also part of last year’s project but it’s one of our favourites. The ‘Ihringen Haggadah’ is German and dates from 1756. It’s another Ashkenazi Haggadah with instructions in German (Hebrew letters) and ‘Allmächtiger Gott’ in Yiddish. It’s a splendid Haggadah copied and illustrated by the scribe Abraham von Ihringen and is on permanent display at the Jewish Museum London.

Take a look at the full Haggadah at yahad.jewishmuseum.org.uk and set up your online Seder room! Chag Pesach Samech!