Each year, as Passover rolls around, many of us turn to our bookshelves and wonder if something better has turned up in the world of haggadas. Something interesting. Perhaps something meaningful. Perhaps something that resonates more than the worn out haggadas that we’ve used for the past 10, 15, even 50 years. When a new haggadah hits the stands, it’s reason to take notice. When a new, interesting and fabulous haggadah hits the stands, it’s reason to rejoice. And when a new haggadah put together by Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander appears, it’s not only reason to celebrate, but it is also indeed a wonderful cultural event. Their New American Haggadah is, simply, wonderful. It’s beautiful, relevant, and reminds us of why we do Passover in the first place. It is reflective, funny, intellectually engaging, and beautiful.
Jonathan Safran Foer, author of such great novels as Everything Is Illuminated, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, has collaborated with Nathan Englander, author of The Ministry of Special Cases, and For The Relief of Unbearable Urges, on New American Haggadah. This new haggadah is edited and configured by Jonathan Safran Foer, with the traditional haggadah translated from the Hebrew by Nathan Englander, and magnificently illustrated by Oded Ezer. New American Haggadah includes commentary by Jewish writers including Jeffrey Goldberg, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Nathaniel Deutsch, and Lemony Snicket. Those plagues– talk about a series of unfortunate events! New American Haggadah infuses Passover and the seder with new relevance, meaning, and a great sense of humor.
Joining Jonathan Safran Foer will be David Ulin, book critic for the Los Angeles Times. David is always interested in discovering new haggadahs. He is the author of the new novel Labyrinth, in addition to The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time; The Myth of Solid Ground; and is the editor of numerous anthologies, including two classic collections of southern California literature, Writing Los Angeles and Another City.