Diversity Haggadah Embraces All Jewish People
PassoverA Haggadah for Everyone

Diversity Haggadah Embraces All Jewish People

Temple Sinai member Tarece Johnson explains why she created "Global Diversity Haggadah."

Author Tarece Johnson
Author Tarece Johnson

“Global Diversity Haggadah” was created to provide a personal window into my life and identity as a black and Jewish woman. I am sharing this book to provide my perspective related to the multicultural celebration of freedom (Pesach) from all forms of oppression, injustice and slavery.

This haggadah contains diversity-themed poems and Torah verses. It provides a multicultural perspective related to our common Jewish history while honoring our distinct journeys around the world. We are all Jewish, and we all belong.

The purpose of “Global Diversity Haggadah” is to share my perspective related to the multicultural influences that contribute to the richness of our community. I hope to inspire and motivate community and to encourage the continuation of our work together to make the world a more loving, peaceful and harmonious place where all people may be free to be who they are and to prosper joyfully.

Global Diversity Haggadah
By Tarece Johnson
CreateSpace, 88 pages, $8.88

Among the additions in this haggadah is a Cup of Unity & Love, joining the traditional four cups of wine, Elijah’s Cup and the more recent Miriam’s Cup. One option for incorporating the cup into the seder is to go outside, recite the haggadah’s poem “Cup of Unity & Love,” and pour the sweet juice into the dirt, honoring our ancestors and representing the diversity of Jews on Earth.

The following is an excerpt from the haggadah.

Affirmation — We are ONE people with a common purpose. We are intricately tied together, and our histories are linked to the same great land of wonder.

We accept that although we may be from different countries, have different skin colors or hair types, be of different genders, have different sexual preferences, be of different ethnicities, be of different religious observations/sects, and have distinct geo-cultural identities, we are all ONE family. Our differences make us stronger, more powerful and prosperous.

The various colors of who we are make being and doing Jewish a beautiful rainbow of hope, peace and love around the world. We will honor ourselves and appreciate the uniqueness of our people. We will respect all people and be empathetic to their personal and collective journeys.

We are all Jewish, and we aim to be a strong bond that demonstrates acceptance of differences, equitable practices, effective collaboration and inclusion. Together we create a powerful light that beams love and kindness to make a difference in the world.

Meditation — This evening we are together in celebration of G-d’s love and the liberation of our people. As the sun continues to set, we honor the glory of G-d. G-d has shown us beauty in the world as we witness the tree produce fruit, a rose bloom, rain dropping to the ground and a rainbow in the sky. We are the bright ray from the sun and the vibrant colors reflected from G-d’s tears.

G-d is a G-d of diversity and wonder, and He has shown us many different miracles and love for all people. G-d saved and forgave us. G-d freed us from evil and hate by bringing us out of Egypt. … Tonight we remember our suffering, we retell the story of our freedom, and we celebrate the great diversity of the Jewish people.

The people of Israel suffered because of the intolerance of differences and hate. Our people have endured generations of oppression and persecution, and we choose to fight for our freedoms to serve our G-d in the way we prefer.

We also choose to help others in their pursuit for justice, equity and freedom. We choose to live a life of joyful liberation and to be the good in the world.

Tonight we will talk about redemption and liberty and participate in activities to help us better understand how we may embrace differences, so all people may be free to be who they truly are. This seder reminds us to never forget our history. As we continue to seek for and embrace the truth of our past, we are also conscious of the dynamic diversity of our people. We honor our ancestors and commit to commemorating their memories tonight.

Every day we live and breathe in a world that continues to evolve and become more diverse. Tonight, as we retell the story of our journey out of Egypt, we also commit to a new journey of embracing diversity and loving everyone.

Cup of Unity & Love

Sweet juice of love
we embrace beautifully
freely like a turtledove
for our ancestors
and our global community
Sweet juice of unity
we sip from you
together honoring
those who lived before us
and recognizing our opportunity
We pour your sweetness
in the earth
north, south, east, and west
the diaspora of our people
and the survival of their quest
Sweet juice of love and unity
we swallow the truth
and the blessing
of our ingenuity
sweet juice of love and unity
we gulp the power
of togetherness
and celebrate our diversity.

Temple Sinai member Tarece Johnson is the founder of Beauty & Glory and co-founder of Jewish Global Diversity. Besides “Global Diversity Haggadah,” which is available at amazon.com and at the Breman Museum, her books include “Ahava,” a book of Shabbat meditations and affirmations, and “The Global Purpose Approach,” a multicultural resource book.

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