‘A Project of a Lifetime’

The Fellowship  |  April 1, 2021


As the Jewish people celebrate Passover, the ancient Passover text – the Haggadah – plays a central role in the Passover seder. The Haggadah has guided Jewish people through the remembrance of God’s deliverance of His people during the Exodus through the thousands of years since this miraculous event. The Passover text is so important to one man, The Chicago Tribune’s Nara Schoenberg writes, that he has compiled the world’s largest Haggadah collection:

It was 1984 when Stephen Durchslag spotted a 200-year-old Haggada, or Passover text, in a New York bookstore. The detailed illustrations of biblical scenes and holiday preparations were beautiful, he said. The origins of the work intrigued him.

And then there was the nostalgia factor.

The Haggada brought back memories from Durchslag’s boyhood in Logan Square, when his mother would cook for days in preparation for the Jewish holiday commemorating deliverance from slavery in ancient Egypt.

“The warmth of the family together — it brought that back to me,” said Durchslag, 80…

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