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Alternative Four Questions: Social Justice Seder

Senior Fellow Hannah Joy Sachs has been a student leader within the Jewish community for years as well as a young professional on a college campus’ Jewish and Interfaith Center. She has felt discouraged that, while Jewish individuals often engage in tzedakah, tikkun olam and mitzvot, there is still a lack of awareness and acceptance of diversity within the Jewish community as well as sustained interfaith and interracial dialogues going on that include Jewish community.

Passover has long been Hannah’s favorite Jewish holiday because of its rituals and its themes. However, the story of Passover can feel antiquated. As a member of multiple minoritized communities, Hannah found it important to connect the struggles of the past with similar ones today.

Hannah researched resources available for social justice seders and then expanded upon the Alternative Four Questions that many different organizations posed. She created themes, including “Gender identity and sexual orientation,” “Community,” and “Violence” and then wrote prompts accordingly.

Hannah felt discouraged that there is still a lack of awareness and acceptance of diversity within the Jewish community. 

Then, during a Passover Seder, in which more than half of the participants did not identify as Jewish, Hannah led a discussion about the diversity within Jewish community and how Jewish themes of Passover connect to human rights concerns around the world and in non-Jewish communities today.

Here are examples of the varying themes and alternative four questions.