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The Bronfman Haggadah

Written by Edgar M. Bronfman, Illustrated by Jan Aronson

  • February 12, 2013
  • Hardcover
  • Religion - Judaism - Sacred Writings
  • Rizzoli
  • 9 x 11
  • $29.95
  • $29.95
  • 978-0-8478-3968-1

About This Book

A beautifully illustrated contemporary Haggadah for the Passover Seder, as interpreted by the world-renowned philanthropist and Jewish leader Edgar M. Bronfman. This Haggadah will inspire and delight all ages. Designed to foster Jewish pride, Edgar Bronfman’s text continues the traditional commandment to retell the Exodus story of slavery and freedom for future generations. The Haggadah teaches people of all ages about Judaism with a fresh perspective while helping to define Passover for everyone at the Seder table. The author’s creative approach weaves together meaningful readings, from the nineteenth-century abolitionist Frederick Douglas to a lesser-known poet, Marge Piercy. Bronfman captures the young reader’s imagination when each child, teenager, and adult assumes the role of a character in the Exodus story, or perhaps to become one of the story’s narrators. Watercolor paintings, created specially for this book, illustrate its main parts: the Seder plate’s symbolic foods, the parting of the Red Sea, the forty-year journey, the giving of the ten commandments on Mount Sinai, to name a few. The Bronfman Haggadah is a welcome addition for the avid collector, as well as to be used as the Haggadah of choice to enrich the Passover Seder experience with its refreshing interactive approach.

About the Author

Formerly CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd, Edgar M. Bronfman is a renowned philanthropist and Jewish leader. Through The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, he supports initiatives that inspire a renaissance in Jewish life. He served as president of the World Jewish Congress and as president of the World Jewish Restitution Organization. He has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. New York–based artist Jan Aronson has had more than forty solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions.

Reviews

  • "Jan Aronson has illustrated Edgar Bronfman's text with skill and imagination to delight everyone at the Passover seder table." ~Milton Esterow, ARTNews

    "The Bronfman Haggadah is an esthetic treat and an inspiration for all who would aspire to create a personal haggadah for their family use." ~Rabbi Harold Kushner

    "The Bronfman Haggadah has everything I want in a seder guest. It's clear-headed but allows for argument. It's straightforward but has a flair for the dramatic. It's colorful but not tacky, opinionated but not dogmatic, and it's not so long-winded that the soup gets cold. Dive in!" ~Daniel Handler, Author
     
    "Edgar Bronfman and Jan Aronson have brought together their verbal and visual modes of understanding to create an extraordinary haggadah. The images transform and illuminate our journey from slavery to freedom, while the text makes each participant feel part of the narrative. Together, they offer a new dimension to the experience of Passover. A beautiful work." ~Tobi Kahn, Artist

    "...an esthetic treat and an inspiration for all who would aspire to create a personal haggadah for their family use." ~Rabbi Harold Kushner

    "The beautifully produced Bronfman Haggadah is a daring and creative re-reading of the traditional text. It will make for a seder like you never had before, and is sure to cause lots of questioning and discussion.  And that is precisely the point! Enjoy it!" ~Rabbi Arthur Green, author of Radical Judaism: Rethinking God and Tradition

    "Aronson's bold use of color is apparent throughout the original, imaginative illustrations she has made for The Bronfman Haggadah...It differs from the traditional seder guide in several ways" ~Lilith.org

    "The magnificent Bronfman Haggadah combines first rate biblical scholarship, keen theological sensitivity and penetrating transcendent insights. It takes the well known and treasured Jewish story and traces how it evolved over the centuries into being a deeply human story. Jan Aronson's artistic contributions to this Haggadah serve to draw the reader beyond the literal words of the text into the universality of their meaning. It is a book I shall treasure." ~John Shelby Spong, Author of "Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes"

    "Jan Aronson has illustrated Edgar Bronfman's text with skill and imagination to delight everyone at the Passover seder table." ~ Milton Esterow

    "The Passover haggadah is not a static document but a living one that must be refashioned for every generation. The new Bronfman Haggadah has...wise commentaries, powerful poetry and stunning watercolors. This is a haggadah that will enrich every seder table." ~Ari L. Goldman, author of The Search for God at Harvard and editor of In Every Generation: The JDC Haggadah.

    "Aims to fill a gap..inherent in the traditional haggadah and create a narrative that is more engaging and relevant to modern readers. Bronfman unabashedly removes whole portions of the conventional haggadah and inserts many of his own observations, poems, and interpretations (all in English). ...Bronfman hopes to convey the eternal messages of the timeless Passover story to children and adults alike.

    "Aronson’s beautiful watercolor illustrations adorn every page, sometimes with subtle implications, sometimes more explicitly, but in a way certain to capture the interest of even reluctant seder participants. Bright colors, sharp lines and shapes, and vivid portrayals of seder-related events bring the age-old story to life. While traditional readers may balk at Bronfman’s liberties, seder participants with less Jewish background or those seeking a more contemporary angle might better relate to and appreciate the modifications." ~PublishersWeekly.com

    “This is the first Haggada that Edgar M. Bronfman has written, and it is personal. ...A lot of participation from those sitting around the Seder table, with assigned readings for leader and celebrants. Though not everyone will be comfortable with this Haggada on their table, this beautifully crafted book has one notable feature that all can agree on—the delightful illustrations by Jan Aronson, Bronfman’s wife and collaborator. Patterns that frame the pages are derived from ancient Egyptian tiles and relief sculpture, Greek and Roman vase and decorative painting and African textiles. Other images are bold, bright and naturalistic..." ~Hadassah Magazine

    "This is not your ordinary haggadah. What hits you first are Aronson's luminous and evocative illustrations. Each of the 127 pages of this coffee-table-size book has been designed as a work of art.” ~Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

    "...a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Passover story and offers a fresh perspective for everyone at the seder table, from children to adults. Plus, the pages are filled with gorgeous watercolor paintings by Jan Aronson.” ~Kveller
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