Add Human Rights to the Holiday

The Human Rights Haggadah highlights human rights issues in the Passover story. It provides Jewish and secular sources for each, along with questions for discussion. For those who want to find contemporary meaning in the seder by using it as a springboard to discuss human rights.

Human rights consist of values that often conflict, leading to diverse political and social action positions. This Haggadah aims to include multiple viewpoints, leaving it to readers to make up their own minds.

three types of material added to the traditional text:

Yellow From the Rabbis boxes:

From the Rabbis boxes show how some Jewish sources address human rights issues

Blue International Law boxes:

International law boxes explain how human rights issues are resolved in treaties and laws

dialogue box

Green Dialogue Boxes:

Dialogue boxes are green, the previous two colors mixed together. These boxes explore how human rights interact with Jewish values, then end with questions for discussion at the seder.

Sample Pages

Modern Slavery


If God had not redeemed us from Egypt, we would still be slaves unto Pharoah. . . 

Even though one human owning another has been outlawed, according to the International Labor Organization over 27 million people are still enslaved. When do dangerous working conditions, low pay, and few options to leave combine to create circumstances that we consider to be modern slavery?

Is Food a Human Right?

All who are hungry let them come and eat, all who are in need let them come join our holiday celebration. . . 

Is giving charity to the poor a fulfillment of human rights? Is everyone entitled to food, clothing, shelter, and health care? Can any society afford this? How do we distinguish between rights everyone is entitled to and things people must earn?


Jacob went down to Egypt only to dwell temporarily, not to settle, because there was famine in Canaan. . . 

International law grants protection only to people fleeing persecution. What about wars, natural disasters, gang violence, and famine? What rights to the millions of people fleeing these things have, and how far are host countries obligated to stretch their resources in order to help?

Other Topics Include:

Prison Labor

Religious Freedom



Reproductive Rights


Workers’ Rights

Sexual Exploitation

War Crimes

Propaganda for War

Reprisals and International Justice

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