Jews Temporary Shelter, “Seder Without Fear” 1956. Jewish Museum London, 80.34

History, Narration, and Memory: Storytelling and Passover

Salon on Kingston
105 Kingston Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11213

As the central act of the Passover experience, the seder is a ritual organized around storytelling. Every year, Jews recount the exodus from Egypt, and the passage—both physical and spiritual—from bondage to freedom. The Haggadah commands participants to recount this story to their children, so that they may tell it to theirs, creating a chain of transmission that will ensure the tale continues to be told. What is so powerful about the act of storytelling, and what differentiates it from other types of narration? How does storytelling relate to memory, history, and the possibility of redemption?

Join us, Wednesday, April 6th, as we explore the centrality of storytelling within the seder experience, drawing on both traditional and more contemporary voices: from the text of the Haggadah and classic rabbinic commentaries to philosophical reflections by Walter Benjamin (whose essay “The Storyteller” we will examine in detail), Yosef Haim Yerushalmi, and Susan Buck-Morss. After a brief introductory lecture, participants will work through source sheets chavruta style (in pairs), before reconvening for a collective discussion.

History, Narration, and Memory: Storytelling and Passover is being held in partnership with The Neighborhood: an Urban Center for Jewish Life. Drinks, snacks, and seltzer will be served. Please RSVP below.

Event Schedule

Wednesday, 7:00pm ET
April 06, 2022


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