I started holding A Passover Seder in 1997, mostly for laughs. I was living in Portland, OR, on the other side of the country from my family, and it was the first time that I had faced Passover away from them. I'm not a religious person, and don't believe in God, but on the other hand, I've always enjoyed the Passover ritual far more than other Jewish rituals. This may be because my family had a number of idiosyncratic laugh-lines that would come up when certain portions of our Haggadah were misprinted, but I think mostly because it's participatory -- that everyone at the table is expected to read, that the youngest child is expected to perform and transmit knowledge, that was exciting, far more exciting than sitting in shul and being passive. I do strongly believe in the power of ritual to connect people.
Over the 13 years that I've been doing this, the motivations have changed from a facile postmodern remix, to an attempt to come to grips with the experience of being an American in an America that does not represent my values. A yearly meditation on belief and freedom. Secular people need rituals too.
That said, I often look back at my political screeds and find them kind of immature. Oh well. Outrage is a good step.
You are welcome, indeed invited, to host your own Seder using any of these Haggadot -- 2009 will obviously be the most appropriate. All content is in the public domain. I find holding the Seder during Passover, but not on the first or second nights, is the easiest way to not alienate my family and to be able to include other Jews who might have family obligations.
All Haggadot are in PDF format -- if you cannot read them, go here and download Acrobat Reader. I've included editable text files in OpenOffice and Microsoft Word formats of the 2008 and 2009 texts so you can make whatever you want out of it.
A few notes:
The cover of 2002 was found in the backyard of my house on September 12, 2001.
The 'Rock Songs' and 'Predictions' are responses to the interactivity portion of the 2007 and 2006 Seders. There are so many drawn powerpoint slides from 2008 that I may never get around to scan them, though they are awesome.
'Bruning' is a typo in the original Ktav Publishing House haggadah that we especially love.
email me here if you have questions/comments/represent AIPAC and want to defame me/etc.
Mad Props To:
Joel Cherney, who helped write the original The Passover Seder in 1997