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New American Haggadah
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New American Haggadah

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3.9  ·  Rating details ·  284 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Read each year around the seder table, the Haggadah recounts through prayer, song, and ritual the extraordinary story of Exodus, when Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to wander the desert for forty years before reaching the Promised Land.

Now, Jonathan Safran Foer has orchestrated a new way of experiencing and understanding one of our oldest, most timeless,
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Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 5th 2012 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2012)
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Petra Eggs
A haggadah is a haggadah. I read it twice a year first night seder, second night seder for years. Today I was sent the Kushner Family Haggadah. As authored by Jared with input from Ivanka. Apparently (!) (view spoiler)

Welcome to our Passover Seder! The history of the Jewish people reaches back nearly 4,000 years. We began as slaves in the land of Egypt but today we are free. As we recline in the luxury of freedom in our new Kalorama mansion, let us n
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Sarah
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this new haggadah edited by Jonathan Safran Foer and translated by Nathan Englander. Do you remember those old commercials in which "we've replaced this man's regular coffee with Folgers - let's see if he notices?" This haggadah seems to be a a project born of passion and enthusiasm, but I'm not sure there was enough forethought involved. They want to replace the Maxwell House haggadah and see if people notice, but ultimately I don't think they set a high enough bar f ...more
Jamie
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was very excited to win this book in a goodreads drawing. So what if it is a haggadah. I won it! In truth, I have not read the book from front to back. It is, after all, a haggadah, and Passover is weeks away. I have skimmed it and read parts. Here are my thoughts:

It is very attractive. If I were hosting a formal seder on good china, this book would fit in well. There is good line spacing, and the primary font is easy to read. The images are tasteful, and the pages are not too crowded with te
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Elizabeth
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Four stars for beauty (and labor of love feel) AND that timeline (!). Commentaries? Loved them. Great addition to our Passover library. Important to note: no transliteration. If you do not read Hebrew, make sure someone at the table does.
Laurie
Mar 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: jewish-themes
First, what I like about this new haggadah.
1) The use of different styles of Hebrew letters as illustrations throughout the book and the cover.
2) Daniel Handler's (aka Lemony Snicket) commentaries, especially on the Four Parents and the lechem oni (bread of affliction). Hahaha
3) The historical time line running along the top of the book, although it would be awkward to actually read when you are in the middle of the seder.
4) The translation has some wonderfully poetic turns but this is also the
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Gayla Bassham
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Gayla by: The Millions 2012 round-up
This is a beautiful book, and since Nathan Englander translated it, you know that it must be beautifully written. When I opened it for the first time, I wished I had ordered more than one copy, so I could use it at our seder this year.

But after I read it, I decided that I am just as happy with the current Haggadah, one I assembled by taking the parts I liked best from half-a-dozen sources. Yes, probably violating all sorts of copyright laws, but I'm not trying to sell it or pass it off as my wo
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Alexa
Apr 05, 2012 marked it as to-read
Jonathan Safran Foer wrote it. I'm such a sucker. Even if the content blows, I'm happy to read anything he put together.
Kim Heimbuch
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Words can't describe this book. I love learning about cultures, religion, and customs and this books suits this perfectly. This large coffee table book eagerly awaited my grasp as I pulled it from the envelope. I was simply amazed at it's simplicity of it, yet it radiated beauty at the same time. Opening from left to right, this book was a nice change from traditional Western literature. While I do not have another haggadah to compare it too or even a deep enough knowledge to fully grasp what "N ...more
Michelle Schingler
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
A fantastic and diverse modern guide to the Seder. My only complaint is that the language in the prayers was not more gender neutral, but my hopes there were perhaps too idealistic and particular.
Tim Hollo
A friend at Pesach this year had this and it's a wonderful, thought-provoking Haggadah - exactly what it should e, instead of just going trough the motions. An impressive intellectual achievement.
Julia Erlanger
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
The translation is fine, honestly, but I was underwhelmed - first, there is no transliteration of the Hebrew, which for a book calling itself the new American version is, for me, a gross omission, considering most American Jews don't read Hebrew. Second, the layout is confusing, with the timeline across the top, the commentaries printed sideways, and the actual directions for the seder in such tiny font on the side that, in comparison with the large artistic renditions of Hebrew letters and word ...more
Greg
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In preparing to lead my family's Seder this year I decided to review this one edited by Jonathan Safran Foer and including commentary by Lemony Snicket. And boy and I glad I did. The commentary was wonderful, the translation sings, and the design is absolutely beautiful. Each page also includes a bit of history related to Passover throughout the years and the art represents the way the written Hebrew language has visually changed over time. I love some of the material that talks about the Haggad ...more
Tamara Jaffe-Notier
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Here's the deal--this haggadah is more like The Book of Embraces than a haggadah. The passover ritual is embroidered with history, midrash, family stories, and Harper's-Index-Style-facts. The commentaries are color-coded, by author, I think, since this is a collaboration, so that when the reader finds an amiable voice to listen to she can follow that voice through the text, temporarily ignoring other voices. The text mimics a dinner-table feeling, with many conversations happening. The reader ch ...more
Carrie
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Just found out I won this as a First Read. Can't wait to get it!

This is a beautiful text, however it is not quite as user friendly as I had hoped. There are not transliterations for the Hebrew, which make it difficult in families that are interfaith or where one does not have a good grasp of the Hebrew language. Including the songs is wonderful, but again there is no translation to English or transliteration.

While I will keep the book on our shelves, I do not anticipate it becoming our go-to for
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Margaret Heller
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Gorgeous typography and layout. I substituted a few translations from the old favorites, but in general I very much enjoyed Nathan Englander's translations. More lively. My dad said, "I don't remember this from any Passover before!" It's the same, only more modern and interesting than the old standbys. Also the Lemony Snicket commentary is amazing.

Two things: you must be able to read Hebrew to get through everything, and the book is slightly large for easy dinner table use. But we passed one co
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Andy Oram
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I would buy this book to pick out inspiring, appropriate readings for a Seder. The book is less appropriate to use at the Seder table, because of its cost and layout, as well as the odd translations for the name of God. I am very impressed with the graphics that take the reader through time, and the chronology of Jewish existence is a good contribution.
Diana
Jul 31, 2012 rated it liked it
If you are in the market for a Haggadah, or want to learn more about them, this is a great book. If you will read anything by Jonathan Safran Foer (like me!) it's hard to tell if there's much of him in here. Read my full review here: http://sonotarunner.blogspot.com/2012...
Jana
Mar 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I am not Jewish nor do I know much about the Jewish faith. Nevertheless, I did find this an interesting book. I heard the author speak on NPR and it sparked my interest. I did not understand all the sedar rituals that were talked about but I found the prayers to be beautiful and melodic. The actual book itself is beautiful put together.
Sean Amore
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are as many haggadah (accompanying texts for a traditional, Passover seder) as there are traditional, Passover seder meals. Every one is different. Everyone offers something special and unique. This is the only one I've ever read for the sake of reading it (I skipped a few things and jumped around a little bit) but it was a lovely and appreciated gift.
Judy
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jewish-theme
An absolutely gorgeous Haggadah that is a must-have for anyone who collects them or likes a variety of resources for Pesach. How could it not be spectacular, given the writers and collaborators? Anyway, highly recommended.
Mamma
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am not Jewish, but I requested the book because I am interested in culture and the historical background of my own faith. I received this book a couple of hours ago, and it is an impressive work. My husband is adding it to his own to-read list.
Rebecca
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It was so cool to see the editor and translator at the 6th & I Synagogue. I liked reading the timeline and the commentaries. I think the text of the haggadah itself probably reads better when you're sitting at the seder table.
Shari
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: some-favorites
Purchased for Pesach last year, and finished this year. What I love are the commentaries, particulary Library and Playground.
Christina
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Goodreads for this beautiful work of art. It adds a new dimension to the spirituality of the holiday.
Brandon Isaacson
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Note: Rating based on content as literature. If I was simply rating this as a new American Haggadah, I would give it a 5. I love the ways they make it more clear, accessible and visual.
Nancy
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Over my head/out of my element, but interesting and beautifully illustrated.
Ellen
Jan 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Not the truly user-friendly haggadah I hoped for. A bit difficult to maneuver and without any transliteration, which is important for some of my seder guests.
Erika Dreifus
Review copy supplied by the publisher
Sam
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am not Jewish but put in for this book because I am interested in all religions. This is a beautiful book and I am so glad that I won it from Goodreads.
Lizzy
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my absolute favorite Haggadah. I inscribe in mine every year, so it holds memories of the seder.
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Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of two bestselling, award-winning novels, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and a bestselling work of nonfiction, Eating Animals. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
More about Jonathan Safran Foer...
“Our failures in charity are chained to a narrowed vision of the world that makes too much of the differences between us, and this is our enslavement.” 1 likes
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