New Haggadah Out of the Narrows: The Artists’ Haggadah – A Visual Midrash Using Art as Commentary


(The Magazine Plus Editorial): – Glenview, Illinois February 22, 2022 ( – Contact

Carol Snower

Project director

[email protected]


The idea for Out of the Narrows: The Artists’ Haggadah – A Visual Midrash which features over 75 pages of captivating original artwork, emerged from the plague of our times, COVID-19, which necessitated the socially distanced celebration of Passover.

The new Haggadah was created by JACC (Jewish Artists Collective Chicago) member artists Carol Neiger (project director, designer), Berit Engen (content curator, editor) and Susan Dickman (editor, writer). As they set about imagining the manuscript that eventually became Out of the Narrows: The Artists’ Haggadahthe artists shared a common goal: the desire to create text rich in meaning and beauty that engages its readers both visually and thematically and evokes deep discussions at Seders all over the world.

Out of the Gulch is a full color 144-page Passover Haggadah with the Passover Seder in Hebrew, Transliteration, and English, including all steps of the ceremony, rituals, prayers, and liturgy. It also provides commentary from its 11 artists, Susan Dickman, Dorit Jordan Dotan, Berit Engen, Jonathan Franklin, Alan Hobscheid, Ellen Holtzblatt, Judith Joseph, Carol Neiger, Amy Reichert, Beth Shadur and Jane Weintraub. The artists are members of JAC-C, a community of multidisciplinary Chicago artists bound by a common heritage and committed to sharing ideas, enriching practices, and creating dialogue with the community.

After a successful inaugural launch in February 2021 to favorable reviews, several exhibitions showcasing the art of Out of the Gulch planned until 2024, and inclusion in Jewish Book Council Haggadah Overviewthe second printing of the Haggadah came out in December 2021

“As artists, our job is to document, comment and create,” said project manager Carol Neiger. “As part of the creative process, Susan Dickman, Berit Engen and I discussed many important questions such as what does it mean to celebrate Passover in the face of a pandemic? How does art help make sense of the Passover story? How do its elements reflect the plagues of disease, death and injustice that still exist? How do we praise God when the world is broken and millions continue to suffer? Neiger went on to explain that the artists were moved by the idea that few things are so diametrically opposed to the celebration of freedom and redemption – the becoming of what the Jewish people then saw in confinement, the blood of figurative lamb smearing the doors of the quarantined.

“Why is this Haggadah different from all the others? There is a well-known Jewish concept of Hidur Mitzvah literally, ‘beautify the mitzvah,’” said Rabbi Steven Stark Lowenstein. “The tradition of devoting extra time, style, or resources to a mitzvah so that it is performed as beautifully as possible. Passover is already a beautiful mitzvah when we gather around the table, eat delicious food and tell and recreate an incredible story of freedom.The powerful art of these incredible artists adds an even deeper meaning and level to the Seder experience.

Passover 2022 begins at sundown on Friday April 15 and ends at sundown on Saturday April 23. For more information, please visit JACC.

Out of the Narrows: The Artists’ Haggadah is available at Barnes & Noble and on Blurb.

Legend: Out of the Narrows: The Artists’ Haggadah – A Visual Midrash features original illustrations and commentary that have emerged from socially distanced Passover celebrations held around the world.

# # #

How to order the Haggadah:

Out of the Narrows can be purchased at two price points:

Economy version (lighter paper) at Barnes & Noble for $28.25
Fine Art Grade Book (thicker, glossier paper) Blurb $61.75

Blurb offers large quantity discounts. 10-19 units 30% off ($42.30 per book)
20+ units at 40% off ($32.26 per book)

Our opinions:
Jewish Book Council, review by Jonathan Fass
Times of Israel report on Out of the Gulch
JUF News report on Out of the Gulch

Upcoming exhibitions of works of art from Out of the Gulch:

The Rissman Kol Ami Collection: March 21 to July 11, 2022, Highland Park, IL
Shainberg Art Gallery: March 13, 2022, Memphis, TN
Offon Art Gallery: April 17, 2022, Indianapolis, IN
Janice Charach Gallery: Fall 2022, Detroit, MI
Dr. Bernard Heller Museum: 2024, Hebrew Union College, New York, NY


Comments are closed.