March 9, 2011 Washington Haggadah Subject of Book Discussion March 23

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

After the Bible, the Passover haggadah is the most widely read classic Jewish text, and few editions are as exquisite as the Washington Haggadah in the Library of Congress. A new facsimile edition (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011), meticulously reproduced in full color, brings this illuminated 15th-century manuscript to life for a new generation of readers.

David Stern of the University of Pennsylvania and Katrin Kogman-Apel of Ben Gurion University in Israel will discuss the importance of this work on Wednesday, March 23, at noon in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event, co-sponsored by the Center for the Book, the Library’s Publishing Office and the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Both Stern and Kogman-Apel wrote essays for the new edition of the haggadah, which will be on sale during this event; the speakers will sign copies following their presentations.

The Washington Haggadah, which is in the collections of the Library’s Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division, will be on special display during this program.

The Washington Haggadah is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. The Books & Beyond Book Club is available at Here readers can discuss books, the authors of which have appeared or will appear in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have seen and heard.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress ( has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.


PR 11-052
ISSN 0731-3527