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New Haggadah Out of the Narrows: The Artists' Haggadah -- A Visual Midrash Uses Art as Commentary

By: Issuewire
Out of the Narrows The Artists

Jewish Artist Collective produces Haggadah featuring 11 artists

Glenview, Illinois Feb 22, 2022 ( - Contact

Carol Neiger

Project Director


The idea for Out of the Nar­rows: The Artists' Haggadah--A Visu­al Midrash which features over 75 pages of captivating original artwork, emerged from the plague of our time, COVID-19, which necessitated the social distanced Passover celebration.

      The new Haggadah was created by JACC (Jewish Artists Collective Chicago) member artists Carol Neiger (project director, designer), Berit Engen (content curator, editor), and Susan Dickman (editor, writer). As they set out to envision the manuscript that eventually became Out of the Narrows: The Artists' Haggadah, the artists shared a common goal: the desire to create a text rich in meaning and beauty that engages its readers both visually and thematically and evokes in-depth discussions at Seders all over the world.

      Out of the Narrows is a 144-page full-color complete Passover Haggadah with the Passover Seder in Hebrew, transliteration, and English, including all steps of the ceremony, rituals, prayers, and liturgy.  It also provides commentary by its 11 artists,  Susan Dickman, Dorit Jordan Dotan, Berit Engen, Jonathan Franklin, Alan Hobscheid, Ellen Holtzblatt, Judith Joseph, Carol Neiger, Amy Reichert, Beth Shadur, and Jane Weintraub. The artists are members of JAC-C, a Chicago community of multidisciplinary artists connected through common heritage and committed to sharing ideas, enriching practices, and creating a dialogue with the community.

      After a successful inaugural launch in February 2021 resulting in favorable reviews, multiple exhibits presenting the art from Out of the Narrows scheduled through 2024, and inclusion in Jewish Book Council's Haggadah Roundup,  the second printing of the Haggadah was released in December 2021

      "As artists, our job is to witness, comment, and create," stated Project Manager, Carol  Neiger. "As part of the creation process, Susan Dickman, Berit Engen, and I discussed many important questions such as what does it mean to celebrate Passover in a pandemic? How does art help make sense of the Passover story? How do its elements reflect on the plagues of disease, death, and injustice that still exist? How do we praise God when the world is broken and millions continue to suffer?"  Neiger went on to explain that the artists were moved by the idea that few things are as diametrically opposed to the celebration of freedom and redemption-the becoming of who the Jewish people are then living in lockdown, the figurative lamb's blood smearing the doors of the quarantined.

      "Why is this Haggadah different from all others?  There is a well-known Jewish concept of Hiddur Mitzvah literally, 'beautifying the mitzvah',"  said Rabbi Steven Stark Lowenstein. "The tradition of putting extra time, style, or resources into a mitzvah so that it is performed as beautifully as possible.  Passover is already a beautiful Mitzvah when we gather around the table, eat delicious food and retell and reenact an amazing freedom story.  The powerful art from these amazing artists adds even deeper meaning and level into the Seder experience."

Passover 2022 begins at sundown on Friday, April 15, and ends at sundown on Saturday, April 23.  For more information, please visit  JACC.   

Out of the Narrows: The Artists' Haggadah is available at Barnes & Noble and on Blurb.

Caption: Out of the Narrows: The Artists' Haggadah--A Visual Midrash features original artwork and commentary that emerged from the socially distanced Passover celebrations held around the world.

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How to order the Haggadah:

Out of the Narrows can be purchased at two price points:

Economy version (lighter paper) at Barnes & Noble for $28.25
Fine Art quality book (heavier, glossy paper) Blurb $61.75

Blurb offers great quantity discounts. 10-19 units 30% off ($42.30 per book)
20+ units 40% off ($32.26 per book)

Our Reviews:
Jewish Book Council, review by Jonathan Fass
Times of Israel feature about Out of the Narrows
JUF News feature about Out of the Narrows

Upcoming Exhibits of artwork from Out of the Narrows:

The Rissman Kol Ami Collection: March 21-July 11, 2022, Highland Park, IL
Shainberg Art Gallery: March 13, 2022, Memphis, TN
Offon Art Gallery: April 17, 2022, Indianapolis, IN
Janice Charach Gallery: Fall 2022, Detroit, MI
Dr. Bernard Heller Museum: 2024, Hebrew Union College, New York, NY 


Out of the Narrows The ArtistsCarol Neiger Susan Dickman and Berit Engen working on Haggadah layoutSusan Dickman and Berit Engen connecting art to textBerit Engen the long narrow path connecting art to liturgy

Media Contact

Carol L Neiger


1033 Heatherfield Lane

Source :Jewish Artists Collective Chicago

This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.

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