Each year since 1976, the “Seder Sisters” have met for their own Women’s Passover. I had co-written The Women’s Haggadah with Nomi Nimrod. The group reads from that text – with the original feminist substitution for the males: the Wise Women, the Four Daughters, the Women’s Questions, the Women’s Plagues, and our own “Dayenu.” The Haggadah is xeroxed and passed around to the guests so we can all participate, pray, question, harangue, and celebrate together. When the book was published by Harper San Francisco, our first artifact was formalized. And, as the decades passed, artifacts have accumulated. There was “The Sacred Schmata (rag),” a shlocky pink strip of nylon, roped and knotted together, with which we enwrapped ourselves and one another to proclaim that we were community.
E.M. Broner, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, is the author of ten books, including The Women's Haggadah; Weave of Women; The Telling: The Story of a Group of Jewish Women Who Journey to Spirituality through Community and Ceremony; and Mornings and Mourning: A Kaddish Journal. Broner has also written radio scripts for National Public Radio and plays. Her musical, “Higginson: An American Life,” premiered June 17, 2005, by the Michigan Opera Company (Broner, book & lyrics; Mort Zieve, music). Broner led the original Women's Seder for 30 years and was proclaimed a Wonder Woman by the Wonder Woman Foundation for her work in feminist Jewish ritual. She is married to the printmaker/painter Robert Broner, and they have four grown children.
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From Miriam’s Daughters Now. Video by Lilly Rivlin Productions, 1986.
Credit: Lilly Rivlin Productions, 1986.