Reconsidering the Seder Plate in Graphic Fashion

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It seems as though each passing year brings another addition to the Passover seder plate — or supplemental pages to the Haggadah — to make the holiday eminently inclusive and attentive to social justice.

This year some Philly-area folks are getting into the act, with a Haggadah supplement that looks like a page torn from the best, most Jewish graphic novel you’ve never read. Written and conceived by Neil Wernick and Congregation Adath Jeshrun Rabbi Rachel Kobrin, and drawn by Terry LaBan, the one-pager was a project of AJ Acts — AJ’s social action group. LaBan and Wernick are both members of the Elkins Park synagogue.

“This effort came out of a committee meeting,” Kobrin explained. “Our goal was to use the traditional symbols of Passover to respond to the current realities in the United States and beyond. We used a question format because we hope to encourage conversation and dialogue. We believe the best seders are those that are low on responsive reading and high on interaction and conversation.”

Because the Passover seder is built around questions, the trio chose to add new and current questions to the mix.

“We hope to inspire interactive discussion that can lead to action — each day we have the opportunity to reconnect with our values, and Passover is the perfect time for that recommitment.”

Artist/designer Terry LaBan is the owner of the company Breakthrough Visuals, which does graphic recording and facilitation, as well as finished illustrations, explainer comics and infographics. He’s also the mind behind a number of beloved alternative comics and the syndicated strip “Edge City.”