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April 10, 2008 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-04-10

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Timeless from page B3

"We hired an educator from New
York City to write a curriculum for both
students and adults:' said Tobye Bello,
Shaarey Zedek's program director."He
came to Detroit in early March
and trained 35 docents.
"It is fascinating to see how the actual
process of making the parchment and
writing the Haggadah was done Bello
said after viewing the exhibit. "If you
look at the manuscript and at Haggadot
made through the ages, the similarities
are incredible. Students from the religious
schools in the area and Hillel Day School
have had a wonderful opportunity to view
the exhibit and learn about history first-
hand in an interactive manner."
The exhibit is sponsored by the Morris
and Beverly Baker Foundation in memory
of Morris D. Baker. Beverly Baker's copy of
a limited edition collector-quality facsimi-
le of the manuscript also is on display.

Painstaking Work
The Prato Haggadah is one of the few
unfinished, illuminated Hebrew manu-
scripts, and it allows viewers to see the
steps of the process along the way to
Written on calf parchment, some of
the script is Sephardi and some Italo-
Ashkenazi, each type in different ink.
Some pages are complete with text and
brilliant color illustrations of the story of
Passover; others are unfinished and may
have preparatory drawings, small amounts
of color or text only. Some pages are blank.
Notations were discovered in the mar-
gins of several pages, a rare sight because
they typically were erased during a manu-
script's creation.
When the JTS library received the
Haggadah, it was in need of repair and
had been rebound several times through
the centuries.
The exhibit includes photos and a
description of the labor-intensive treat-


April 10 • 2008

ment and cleaning of the entire manu-
"It then needed to be stitched together
and rebound, first in wood, then covered
with leather:' Goldstein said. "The [inside]
text is always black and the headers and
important words are red. Colors were filled
in after the outline was sketched' What
makes the pages illuminated is the gold.
It illuminates and lights the manuscript
The Haggadah's art is creative and
clever. "The illustrations have a sense of
humor," Kraemer said. "They are intended
not just to educate but also to entertain?'
The text is standard but does not
include references to the Passover meal,
including Kiddush, blessings for matzah
and maror, and Grace after Meals. Scholars
have suggested this type of Haggadah may
have been produced for public synagogue
readings, and not for use at a seder table
where food was served.
After the Prato Haggadah exhibit leaves
town, it will not be displayed again until
next year, when it travels to a new com-
munity before Passover. Except for the
facsimile book editions, Detroit is the only
place the Haggadah manuscript can cur-
rently be seen.
"To be able to be right here at Shaarey
Zedek and see this magnificent exhibit
is wonderful," Joanne Robinson of West
Bloomfield said after a tour. ❑

The Prato Haggadah exhibit is on
display at Congregation Shaarey
Zedek in Southfield and is open for
viewing during synagogue hours
until Thursday, May 29. Docents
are available to lead tours 11 a.m.-2
p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays by
appointment. To schedule a group
tour, contact Tobye Bello at (248)
357-5544 ext. 45 or

Tribute To Rabbi Wine
Adat Chaverim, a San Fernando Valley,
Calif.-based Humanistic Judaism
congregation, played host to the
Society for Humanistic Judaism Adult
Conference and Teen & Young Adult
Conclave April 4.
A highlight of the conference was
the presentation of the Rabbi Sherwin
Wine Achievement Award to Jane
Goldhamer, a member of the board of
the Society for Humanistic Judaism
and founder and coordinator of Kol
Shalom, Community for Humanistic
Judaism in Portland, Ore.
Wine, the Detroit-based founder of
the Humanistic Judaism movement
and the dean of the International
Institute for Secular Humanistic
Judaism in North America, died in
an automobile accident in Morocco
last July. A memorial tribute to Wine,
including songs, music and a video
tribute commemorating what would
have been his 80th birthday, preceded
the award presentation.

Weekend Guest
Student Rabbi
Donna Kirshbaum
will be with
T'chiyah the week-
end of April 25.
community is
invited to attend all
events, which will be
held at the David and Miriam Mondry
Building, 15000 W. 10 Mile, Oak Park.
At 7:45 p.m. Friday, April 25, there
will be a Kabbalat Shabbat service. At
10 a.m. Saturday, April 26, there will
be a study session on "The Ethics of
On Saturday evening, a Havdalah
service with a Pesach potluck dinner
will begin at 6 p.m. At 10 a.m. Sunday,
April 27, a Yizkor service will be fol-
lowed by a continuing discussion of a
social action project.

Reform Temples' Shabbat
Members of Detroit-area Reform
congregations will come together as
a community at Temple Shir Shalom
in West Bloomfield on Friday, April
25, for the annual Isaac Mayer Wise
The 8 p.m. service will be preceded
at 6:30 p.m. by a Passover potluck din-
The Metropolitan Detroit Federation
of Reform Synagogues (MetFed) will
provide kosher-for-Passover chicken
and beverages; those attending are

asked to bring a Passover non-dairy
side dish or dessert in a disposable
container. There is no charge for
the meal; however, reservations are
required. Call the Union for Reform
Judaism Northeast Lakes Council-
Detroit Federation office for reserva-
tions, (888) 282-6352.
Each year, MetFed sponsors a com-
munity service on the Friday during
Passover. Hosting privileges rotate
among the area Reform congregations:
Temple Beth El, Beth Isaac Synagogue,
Temple Emanu-El, Temple Israel,
Temple Kol Ami, Temple Shir Shalom
and Congregation Silk Tikvah.

A Men's Seder
Men are encouraged to join the annual
mock seder 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April
13, at Young Israel of Oak Park. It's an
opportunity to prepare for the seder,
learn some divrei Torah to share with
the family, dig deep into the Haggadah
for greater meaning and have a good
There will be food, a beer-tasting
and special surprises. Cost is $40 for
members; $44 for non-members.
For information or reserva-
tions, contact Rabbi Reuven
Spolter, rabbispolter@yiop.org; put
"Men's Seder" in the subject line.

New Program For Kids
Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak
Park has an innovative KinderReady
program developed for children who
will be 5 by Jan. 1.
KinderReady offers an age-appropri-
ate kindergarten experience. The
curriculum includes Chicago Math,
Zoophonics and a literature-based
readiness program for reading.
Children will learn to write journals,
stories and to explore different hands-
on media in art and science. The class
will be taught by experienced, certified
teachers. It will offer academics in the
morning and enrichments with the
option of an all inclusive Hebrew pro-
gram (developed by the Beth Shalom
Religious School Director Bosmat
Dovas), creative movement, karate, art,
science and computers in the after-
noon early and after care is available
from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
The academic curriculum will be
developed for each child with a teach-
er ratio of one to five.
For information, call Susan
Gartenberg, (248) 547-7970, ext. 234.

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