As you prepare to spend Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc). with loved ones, think of a Jewish woman in your life whom you would like to know more about. Maybe it’s a grandmother, an aunt, or a teacher. Invite her to participate in an interview with you, at a mutually agreed upon time and place. These questions could be asked as part of your Passover Lit. Order. The festive meal conducted on Passover night, in a specific order with specific rituals to symbolize aspects of the Exodus from Egypt. It is conducted following the haggadah, a book for this purpose. The mystics of Sefat also created a seder for Tu B'shvat, the new year of the trees., but can also take the form of a private, recorded conversation. Ask if she’s willing to be recorded (by audio on a smartphone or computer), and whether the information can be shared with JWA.
Ask one or more of the following questions:
- Describe a moment of liberation in your life.
- Describe a time in your life when you took a risk. What did you learn from this experience?
- When you reflect on the women actors in the Passover story – from Shifrah and Puah, the midwives who saved Hebrew firstborn from being killed; to Yocheved, the mother of The quintessential Jewish leader who spoke face to face with God, unlike any other prophet, and who freed the people from Egypt, led them through the desert for forty years, and received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. His Hebrew name is Moshe.; to Miriam, who helped lead the Israelites out of Egypt – what kind of leadership style or action do you most relate to?
- What role(s) do women play in your family story?
Once you’re finished, share your reflections and/or audio files by submitting an interview form.
Telling and listening to stories creates a powerful connection. We hope this exercise is meaningful for you and your story-teller and that it sparks connection and inspiration for you both. Thank you for helping us tell a more inclusive, inspiring story this Passover!
This initiative is part of Story Aperture, a new project of the Jewish Women’s Archive, that enables people of all ages to collect and share the untold and underrepresented stories of Jewish women through mobile technology.
The Jewish Women’s Archive documents Jewish women’s stories, elevates their voices, and inspires them to be agents of change.