The haggadah is a Jewish prayer book for the Jewish festival of Passover that outlines the rituals, food and table settings, songs, and stories recited during the holiday. In a new publication from GCRR Press, world-renowned scholars, Prof. Zev Garber and Dr. Kenneth Hanson, have brought together the world's top religion specialists for an academic (but publicly accessible) look at the haggadah just in time for the 2021 Passover celebration.
The Annotated Passover Haggadah presented here is unique, both in substance and appeal. The story is well-known and often repeated, having been translated, elaborated, neutered, abbreviated, truncated, and all but exfoliated over the many centuries. Nevertheless, the current volume makes an important contribution since, while preserving both the traditional Hebrew text along with an equally traditional English translation, it provides important analytical, philosophical, and theological perspectives on the seminal event of Jewish consciousness and self-awareness. This Haggadah is intended, notwithstanding its scholarly rigor, for practical use in family and congregational settings for those who wish, during this all-important night, to delve ever deeply into the Passover narrative, to go beyond the mere repetition of an annual ritual into a more richly rewarding and profound experience. Its overall theme is a celebration, not only of the deliverance from Egypt but of the widely disparate ways in which the Passover is observed by sundry traditions worldwide. Going beyond the “normative” observance of the Passover Seder, this Haggadah breaks new ground in referencing the increasing interest among Christians and Messianic Jews in observing the Exodus from Egypt. It underscores, via a small cadre of the world’s most renowned Jewish scholars, the sanctified memory of this mighty deliverance, which remains forever emblazoned in the Jewish soul.
Zev Garber is Emeritus Professor and Chair of Jewish Studies and Philosophy at Los Angeles Valley College, and he has also served as Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California at Riverside, Visiting Rosenthal Professor of Judaic Studies at Case Western Reserve University, and as President of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew. As Emeritus Editor of Shofar and founding Editor of Shofat Supplements in Jewish Studies and Studies in the Shoah series, he has presented and/or written hundreds of articles and reviews (academic and popular) in the areas of Judaica, Shoah, Jewish Jesus, and interfaith dialogue. He has authored and edited 15 academic books, including, Mel Gibson’s Passion: The Film, the Controversy, and Its Implications; The Jewish Jesus: Revelation, Reflection, Reclamation; Teaching the Historical Jesus; and Judaism and Jesus (co-author, Ken Hanson). Colleagues and scholars acknowledge his academic scholarship and leadership in The Maven in Blue Jeans: A Festschrift in Honor of Zev Garber (Purdue University Press, 2009).
Kenneth Hanson is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the University of Central Florida Judaic Studies Program. He earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991. His many scholarly articles focus on the Second Jewish Commonwealth, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the historical Jesus, and Jewish Christianity. He has also published several books of popular scholarship, including: Dead Sea Scrolls: The Untold Story; Kabbalah: Three Thousand Years of Mystic Tradition; and Secrets from the Lost Bible. He has been interviewed multiple times on nationally syndicated radio, and his research was featured on the History Channel documentary, “Banned from the Bible.” He teaches a wide range of Judaic Studies courses, including the Hebrew language, the Hebrew Bible, Jewish history and culture, and the history of the Holocaust. He recently produced and narrated an award-winning documentary entitled “The Druze: An Ethnic Minority in the Holy Land.”
Jonathan Arnold, Esq. is an Oxford-educated attorney versed in the academic, commercial, insurance, multimedia, outside counsel, publishing/podcasting, technology, and UCC law fields. Select and recent articles include Development of New Approaches in Int’l Trade Law, (2018, Cal. Int’l. Law Journal) and The Emerging Locality of International Law, (2016, Valley Lawyer). He was cited by the California Court of Appeal on the proper application of Specific Jurisdiction, VirtualMagic Asia, Inc. v. Fil-Cartoons, Inc. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 228, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 1, 9-11.
Annette Boeckler is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mayence and rabbinical student at the Levisson Instituut in Amsterdam. She was department leader at the former “Zurich Lehrhaus.” Before Brexit, she worked as lecturer and head librarian at the rabbinical seminary Leo Baeck College in London. Her research field is the theology of Jewish prayer, especially the development of German liberal liturgy. She is an internationally acclaimed lecturer and has taught in Brazil, the Netherlands, England, the U.S., Portugal, France, Germany, and Switzerland.
Eugene J. Fisher is Distinguished Professor of Theology at Saint Leo University. He has worked tirelessly for the reconciliation between Catholics and Jews. Ahead of his time, he affected change as Director of Catholic-Jewish relations for the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops beginning in 1977; he has also authored numerous works in the field of Catholic-Jewish relations. He has been a Consultor to the Holy See and a member of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee. Dr. Fisher is an active member of learned and professional societies, such as the Catholic Biblical Association, the National Association of Professors of Hebrew, and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). He has lectured widely throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Australia. He has published over twenty-five books and monographs, and some 300 articles in major religious journals, many of which have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and German for publication in Latin America and Europe. See: “Nostra Aetate: A Personal Reflection,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies (Fall 2015, Vol 50, no 4) pages 529-538 and A Life in Dialogue, Building Bridges between Catholics and Jews: A Memoir, St. Petersburg, FL: Mr. Media Books, 2017.
Susan Garber, wife of Zev Garber, is a homemaker. She is a gardener and lover of animals who cares for two dogs, a cat, and a parrot, who has been with her for over fifty years. She has proofread several books and is a writer of fantasy and science fiction stories.
Leonard J. Greenspoon holds the Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University, where he is also Professor of Theology and of Classical and Near Eastern Studies. Greenspoon is editor of the 32-volume Studies in Jewish Civilization series. His latest book, Jewish Bible Translations: Personalities, Passions, Politics, and Progress, was published by the Jewish Publication Society in November 2020. This is the first ever book-length study of Jewish Bible versions. In 2018, Greenspoon was the recipient of a Festschrift at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, and he was the featured scholar in a section titled “Wisdom of the Ages.” For 2020, Greenspoon has also been named researcher of the year at Creighton.
Nathan Harpaz is an art historian and a museum professional. He earned degrees in Psychology and Art History from Tel Aviv University and a doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, OH. He is a former art museum director in Tel Aviv, Israel and the author of the book published by Purdue University Press Zionist Architecture and Town Planning: The Building of Tel Aviv (1919‒1929). Dr. Harpaz is currently the director of the Koehnline Museum of Art near Chicago and he teaches art history, Jewish art, and museum studies at Oakton College.
Yitzchak Kerem is an historian of Greek and Sephardic Jewry, as well as the Holocaust, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a researcher at the Institute of Jewish Languages, and a lecturer at the Mekor Sephardic Studies Program and the Jewish History Department. Since 1992 he has also served as editor of the academic e-mail publication “Sefarad vehaMizrah,” formerly at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece. He has also served as director of the Institute of Hellenic-Jewish Relations at the University of Denver and as visiting Israeli scholar in Sephardic Studies at the American Jewish University, Los Angeles (2008‒2009). He has been a researcher on Greek Jewry in the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem and has been a contributor to Pinkas Kehilot Yavan (1999), as well as editor of the Greek section in the New Encyclopedia Judaica. He has previously served as sub-editor of the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Balkans section). He has nominated over 1,000 “Righteous Gentiles” for Yad Vashem and coordinated a summer workshop project for researchers on Sephardic Jewry in the Holocaust (1999), at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is a documentary filmmaker on Greek and Sephardic Jewry and the Holocaust, as well as a contributor of articles in the Larousse Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, along with publications of the Ben-Zvi Institute. He is an expert in Sephardic and Eastern Jewish Genealogy.
Henry Knight is Professor Emeritus of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the former Director of the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. Dr. Knight directed the Cohen Center from July 2007 through his retirement in June 2019 and taught in the College’s academic program, which offers the nation's first undergraduate major in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Knight continues to serve as the co-chair of the biennial Steven S. Weinstein Holocaust Symposium (formerly the Pastora Goldner Holocaust Symposium) that he and Prof. Leonard Grob of Fairleigh Dickenson University co-founded in 1996. Prof. Knight is the recipient of two teaching awards for excellence in the classroom from The University of Tulsa and a similar honor from Keene State College. He is the author or editor of several books and numerous articles on post-Holocaust theology and ethics. A past president of the Annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, Knight continues to serve as a Reader for the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity’s Prize in Ethics essay contest.
William H. Krieger is Department Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Rhode Island and URI Program Director and Archaeologist with the Tell es-Safi Archaeological Project. He was educated at Columbia University, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Claremont Graduate University. Prof Krieger specializes in issues surrounding Archaeological Theory and Methods, as well as the Philosophy of Science and Technology. His recent publications include, “When Are Medical Apps Medical? Off-Label Use and the FDA” (Digital Health, 2016), “Marketing Archaeology” (Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 2014), “Theory, Locality, and Methodology in Archaeology: Just Add Water” (HOPOS, 2012), and an edited volume that won the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2011, Science at the Frontiers: Perspectives in the History and Philosophy of Science.
Susan CM Lumiere is retired from her career as a mentor and teacher of art and academics for the Los Angeles Unified School District, specializing in multicultural and interdisciplinary studies. She also taught Sunday School at Westwood Temple and Hebrew at the Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue. Susan is an artist and former professional dancer and sang for two traveling Israeli dance troupes. Currently, she writes commentaries and satire. She was educated at UCLA, Los Angeles Valley College, American Jewish University, and Chabad of North Hollywood. She was also the founder of a Yiddish Culture Club in the Los Angeles area.
Diane Mizrachi is the librarian for Jewish and Israel Studies in addition to other Social Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her Masters degree in Library Science from Bar Ilan University, Israel, and a Ph.D. in Information Studies at UCLA. She worked as a librarian at Beit Berl College in Kfar Saba, Israel, before coming to UCLA. Her professional research and publications primarily cover college students’ library and information behaviors, including library anxiety, and academic reading format (print and electronic) preferences and behaviors. Her passions are Jewish history and philosophy.
Norman Simms was born in Borough Park, Brooklyn in 1940 and went to public school, eventually ending up at Stuyvesant High. He went to Machzike Talmud Torah in the 1940s. He gained a BA at Alfred University in upstate New York and then an MA and PhD from Washington University in St Louis. After four years in Canada at the University of Manitoba, he went to New Zealand with his wife and two children, and stayed there until he retired in 2010 spending his career at the University of Waikato. He had various study leaves abroad (Folklore Institute in Bucharest; Folklife Institute in Leeds, UK; Jewish Studies Center in Brown University in the USA). He has taught in France (Université de Pau and La Nouvelle Sorbonne in Paris) and in Israel (Ben Gurion University). In Hamilton, New Zealand he and his wife ran the local Jewish Studies Association for about twenty-five years, with Jewish Studies weekend seminars regularly. He retired in 2010 and has been at home writing articles, books, and reviews.
David Patterson holds the Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies at the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, University of Texas at Dallas and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitsm and Policy (ISGAP). He is a commissioner on the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, a member of the Executive Board of Academic Advisors for ISGAP, and a member of the Executive Board of the Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches. He has lectured at universities on six continents and throughout the United States. A winner of the National Jewish Book Award, the Koret Jewish Book Award, and the Holocaust Scholars’ Conference Eternal Flame Award, he has published more than 35 books and more than 240 articles, essays, and book chapters on topics in literature, philosophy, the Holocaust, and Jewish studies. His most recent books are Shoah and Torah (SUNY, forthcoming); Elie Wiesel’s Hasidic Legacy (SUNY, forthcoming); The Holocaust and the Non-Representable (SUNY, 2018); Anti-Semitism and Its Metaphysical Origins (Cambridge, 2015); Genocide in Jewish Thought (Cambridge, 2012); and A Genealogy of Evil: Anti-Semitism from Nazism to Islamic Jihad (Cambridge, 2010).
Roberta Sabbath earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Riverside. As Religious Studies Coordinator and Visiting Assistant Professor in the English Department, Dr. Sabbath publishes and speaks frequently in the religious studies and culture fields. Editor of Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur’an as Literature and Culture (Brill Press 2009) and Troubling Topics, Sacred Texts: Readings in Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Qur’an (De Gruyter Press 2021), she also teaches both religious studies and literature classes including Bible (Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Qur’an) as Literature, mythology, world literature, and Judaism and Jewish Identities. Her monograph-in-progress is Sacred Body: Readings in Jewish Literary Illumination. Dr. Sabbath created the Hate Uncycled: 4 Conversations series for UNLV Townhall events (Spring 2021) and is collaborating with the UNLV Dance Department for Holocaust Survivor Choreographic Collaboration, which is a video, dance, and oral history project developed from earlier collaborations for World Literature and UNLV Veterans Administration.
Peter S. Zaas is Professor of Biblical Studies and Director of the Kieval Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies at Siena College in Loudonville, NY. He was educated at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies, Oberlin College, and the University of Chicago, where he earned a Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christian Studies. He is the author of a number of articles in the fields of New Testament, Jewish theology, and the religious history of the Second Temple period, including contributions to A. Cohen and P. Mendes-Flohr, eds. Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought (1987), A.-J. Levine and M. Brettler, ed. Jewish Annotated New Testament (2011, 2nd rev. ed., 2017), and Zev Garber, ed. Teaching the Historical Jesus (2014).
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