Event details

  • Monday | April 10, 2023
  • 10:30 am

ADULT EDUCATION: CLICK TO JOIN! Mondays | 10:30 am Meeting ID: 863 810 961

Call into the discussion: +1 929 436 2866 or +1 301 715 8592

Check our Calendar for program details. 


The Haggadah shel Pesach is a unique book in a religious culture in which books hold a special place of honor.  At least two characteristics make the Haggadah unique.  First, whereas the texts of the Bible and the Talmud are fixed and nothing can be altered or added to them, the Haggadah can still expand to incorporate writings that reflect Jewish experience across the centuries.  The second striking characteristic is that the Haggadah has captivated the attention of artists as has no other book in our sacred literature.  From medieval manuscripts to hundreds and hundreds of printed editions, the Haggadah has been richly illustrated.  The illustrator brings out the meaning of the words of the text through visual images.  The illustrations serve as social and political indicators reflecting the frame of mind of particular Jewish communities during various historical periods.  I will concentrate on the illustrations of the Four “Sons,” who represent personality types.  Although most of these illustrations depict males, the passage applies to all regardless of sex or age.  I will also present illustrations of other passages in the Haggadah that are essential to understanding Jewish history.

Rabbi Fred Davidow, ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1973, had an active career spanning 45 years as a congregational rabbi and chaplain in Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia.  He likes to think of himself as a “young old man,” keeping his mind fresh learning, teaching and writing.  Before the pandemic Rabbi Davidow took great pleasure in leading Dvar Torah sessions at Adath Jeshurun and in Center City.  He has also conducted Readers Theater programs in a number of venues: lifelong learning groups, adult education classes at synagogues and Jewish Community Centers, workshops for religious school teachers, and religious school classes for middle-school and high-school students.  A number of his Divrei Torah appeared in the Jewish Exponent.  In 2018 Rabbi Davidow completed the book Guardians of the City: Stories for Shaping Moral Character, Twenty Dramatic Scripts Adapted from Jewish Lore.  Another work of his is the Readers Theater Passover Haggadah.  Rabbi Lance Sussman has edited a portion of his memoir about growing up Jewish in Mississippi in the 1950’s, and it will be published in the 2022 issue of the Journal of Southern Jewish History.  Rabbi Davidow participates in the KI Memoir Writing Group.