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The Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, The University of Chicago Divinity School, and The Special Collections Research Center are proud to present:

The Haggadah: an exhibition and lecture series.

The exhibition and lectures are FREE and open to your community!


All events take place at

The Special Collections Research Center in the Joseph Regenstein Library

1100 E. 57th Street, Chicago, Illinois



On view in the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery
April 5-May 11, 2012.
Mon.-Fri., 9:00 am to 4:45 pm
Saturdays, 9:00 am to 12:45 pm

Archetype and Adaptation: Passover “Haggadot”
from the Stephen P. Durchslag Collection

Opening Lecture: Sunday, April 1st, 2012

5:00 pm Introductory comments in the Exhibition Gallery, Stephen P. Durchslag
5:30 pm Lecture: The “Haggadah” and the Jewish Imagination, David Stern, Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of Classical Hebrew Literature, University of Pennsylvania
6:30 pm Reception and Exhibition Viewing


All lectures begin at 5:30 p.m. After each lecture there will be a reception and an opportunity to view the exhibition.

April 1
David Stern (University of Pennsylvania)
“The Haggadah and the Jewish Imagination”

April 22
Marc Michael Epstein (Vassar College)
“Birds’ Head Revisited: Identity, Politics and Polemics in the Birds’ Head Haggadah”

May 6
Vanessa Ochs (University of Virginia)
“The Coconut on the Seder Plate: A Biography of the Contemporary Haggadah”

May 13
Katrin Kogman-Appel (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
“Popularizing Books in a Manuscript Culture: The Visual Language of the Late Medieval Haggadah”

The week-long Jewish holiday of Passover marks the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, a narrative with universal appeal as a paradigm for liberation. The Haggadah is the classic text recited at the Seder feast on the first night of Passover. From the Middle Ages to the present day, in luxurious handwritten manuscripts and finely printed books as well as editions produced in vast numbers or under harsh circumstances, the Haggadah has played a central role in Jewish life. This exhibition, drawn entirely from the private collection of Stephen P. Durchslag, examines the enduring influence of  early printed Haggadot as well as the adaptability of modern Haggadot responding to political and social developments such as the Holocaust, secular kibbutzim, gay rights, disability rights, and feminism.

For more information, please see, or email Miller Prosser at