April 5, New "MLK+50 Labor-Justice Freedom Seder" @ Mishkan Shalom


What: MLK+50 Labor-Justice Interfaith Freedom Seder

Where: Congregation Mishkan Shalom,

4101 Freeland Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19128

When: April 5, 2018  7:00pm

 Please RSVP to Michael Hersch at mhersch@comcast.net or 215-668-5454

Suggested Donation is $20 per person, though no one will be turned away.  Payment can be made through PayPal on the PJLC website

Full dinner will be served.



Sponsored by the Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee

With a Seder Woven by The Shalom Center

To Reawaken and Renew

The Prophetic Wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

During Passover in the 50th Year Since His Death

Seder will be led by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center

and Rabbi Shawn Zevit of Congregation Mishkan Shalom

 This new version of the Passover Seder weaves together four strands of wisdom in the struggle for justice and freedom: the ancient story of resistance to slavery under Pharaoh; more than a century of experience from the American labor movement; the wisdom of Dr.  Martin Luther King, who was murdered fifty years ago; and our own generation’s struggle to advance democracy in the teeth of efforts to destroy it.

 Fifty years ago, American democracy was in crisis. Part of that crisis was the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968, a week before Passover.

 That week in 1968 brought forth echoes of the ancient and the urgent: a passionate conviction that resistance to Pharaoh and then resistance to the Roman Empire in a Passover-time that for Christians became Holy Week -- echoed with resistance to war and racism and poverty in America.

 Out of that experience came the original Freedom Seder, celebrated on April 4, 1969.. It wove together those two stories, the ancient and the urgent.  For many Jews and Christians, Black and white, that Freedom Seder helped clarify the spiritual roots of the struggle for justice, peace, and freedom, and transformed what the Seder itself could mean. The Shalom Center is the heir of that Freedom Seder.

 For many years, the Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee has created and celebrated a Passover Haggadah that has similarly connected the ancient story of how enslaved workers won their freedom with the modern struggle for labor justice.  

 Today, the crisis of American democracy is even deeper than it was in 1968 -- perhaps the deepest since the Civil War. We are living through an anti-democratic, anti-labor power grab by the Hyper-Wealthy and modern Corporate Pharaohs. This power grab is being made politically possible by inciting racist hatred, fear of foreigners and “strange” religions, hostility toward women, and contempt toward the Earth.

 This power grab by the modern Pharaohs is much like the power grab by the ancient Pharaoh – who incited fear and hatred toward foreigners and a “strange” religion, and through his egomania and cruelty brought plagues upon the Earth, famine and death on his own people.

 And we are also living through the sprouting of an amazingly broad and deep grass-roots Resistance movement.

 We will hear about one aspect of that reenergized movement from John Dodds, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, who will share his organization's ongoing effort in the Raise the Wage movement and other economic justice issues.

Our Seder faces the challenge and inspires us to act – to bring closer what Dr. King called the Beloved Community.

 Welcome to another moment in a Freedom Journey that began three thousand years ago.


Please RSVP to Michael Hersch at mhersch@comcast.net or 215-668-5454

 Suggested Donation is $20 per person, though no one will be turned away.  Payment can be made through PayPal on the PJLC website
















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