Passover reading — Jewish Renaissance

For that issue, we asked writers, poets, artists and photographers to choose a part of the Passover story that resonated with them to interpret in any way they wanted. The resulting contributions touched on many of the themes of exile and freedom that were so dear to Ester, encompassing art by David Breuer-Weil, Sophie Herxheimer, Tom Berry and Jacqueline Nicholls, original poems by Maia Elsner and Michael Rosen, and a striking photo essay that followed the Passover preparations of Hannah and Moishe, a couple based in the small Jewish community of eastern Uganda.

One of Judaism’s most fabulous tenets reminds us that we shall not ‘oppress a stranger’, for ‘ye were strangers in the land of Egypt’ (Exodus 22:21). You can see this ancient conviction being put into modern day practice in dozens of stories across our archive, including a piece on Kuchinate (Summer 2020), a Tel Aviv project set up to help African refugee women who’ve fled their homelands and made the often dangerous journey across the Sinai to Israel. This remarkable collective helps the women create crocheted carpets, baskets and clothes to sell and has also led to a collaboration with the Israeli artist Gil Yefman, resulting in exhibits of their work in museums across Israel and, in 2020, an international art exhibition in Sweden.

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