A very special illustrated Pesach Haggadah, the Jewish text used for the Passover Seder, has been donated to Hartford Seminary through the efforts of Yehezkel Landau, Associate Professor of Interfaith Relations.
On March 25, Prof. Landau attended a lecture on Christian-Jewish relations, delivered by Dr. Ruth Langer, at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. Following the presentation he met Dr. Norbert Wolloch and his mother Helene Wolloch. He learned about their generous wish to donate copies of the Passover Haggadah, which Helene and her late husband Zygfryd Wolloch had commissioned in 1981 to honor the memory of the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, including their own family members.
After Prof. Landau explained to them the mission of Hartford Seminary, they graciously donated the Haggadah they were carrying to the Seminary, in the hope that our non-Jewish students would appreciate its message and power as a work of sacred art.
“For me this is a wondrous gift with profound spiritual and educational significance,” Prof. Landau said. “It invites our students to contemplate the deeper spiritual and moral lessons of the Holocaust, affecting all of us as human beings, and to appreciate how Jewish memory and hope for redemption are reflected in the Passover holiday and, indeed, the whole of the Jewish holy day cycle.”
Only 250 copies of the Haggadah were printed before the plates were destroyed. Artist David Wander did the drawings. The Torah scribe Yonah Weinrib did the calligraphy and micography.
The pages of the Haggadah are contained in a leather case. Thirty-one full-page illustrations are included with the illustrated text. Click on the photos below to enlarge them. The book will be on display at the Hartford Seminary Library.