Pacifico Levi Italian, active c. 1818 Passover seder plate, 19th c. silver, hammered sheet silver; repousse, chased and engraved, cast The Eloise and Elliot Kaplan Endowment for Judaica 2015.20

Celebrating Passover in an Enlightened Age

February 10, 2018 - February 10, 2019
Gallery 362
Free Exhibition

In the Jewish tradition, the seder is the ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover, a holiday that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Passover celebrates freedom, but for centuries oppression was a cruel fact of Jewish life in Europe. It included expulsion, forced conversion, bans against owning property, and limited professional opportunities. “Celebrating Passover in an Enlightened Age” highlights a silver seder plate and two Passover textiles—recent additions to Mia’s collection—made during a bright moment in the first decades of the 1800s when some of these restrictions were eased, and speaks to the diversity of Jewish traditions and the dialogue between Judaism and majority gentile (non-Jewish) cultures.