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2012 Hunger Seder Guide

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2012 Hunger Seder Guide Powered By Docstoc
					                          HUNGER
                           SEDER

Planning your MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder

SEDER OBJECTIVES
•	   To	educate	the	Jewish	community	and	its	partners	about	the	prevalence	of	hunger	and	malnutrition	in	the	
     US	and	solutions	to	address	the	ongoing	problem	of	domestic	hunger.

•	   To	create	a	cadre	of	informed	activists	to	supply	a	continuous	stream	of	strong	Jewish	voices	on	the	issue	of	
     domestic	hunger	and	equip	participants	with	the	necessary	vocabulary	to	be	effective	anti-hunger	advocates.

•	   To	use	the	symbolism,	teachings	and	prayers	of	the	Passover	Seder	to	bring	modern	meaning	to	the	age	old	
     words,	“Let	all	who	are	hungry	enter	and	eat.”

•	   To	have	each	participant	leave	the	Seder	with	a	plan	of	action	for	increasing	her	or	his	own	involvement	in	
     anti-hunger	advocacy	and	activism.	


SEDER PARTICIPANTS WILL UNDERSTAND
•	   The	significant	assistance	provided	through	federal	government	nutrition	and	feeding	programs,	which	
     currently	serve	millions	of	people	struggling	with	hunger	across	the	country.

•	   Their	individual	and	collective	power	to	influence	the	government,	and	the	importance	of	taking	action.	

•	   Working	to	eliminate	hunger	and	poverty	is	a	Jewish	value.	It	is	our	responsibility	to	influence	policymakers	
     to	address	hunger.	We	have	the	power	to	be	a	part	of	healing	our	fractured	world	and	to	end	hunger	in	the	
     United	States.

•	   Our	collective	efforts	truly	make	a	difference.	Recent	Jewish	community	advocacy	has	provided	effective	
     support	for	the	passage	of	the	Healthy,	Hunger	Free	Kids	Act	and	the	protection	of	funding	for	critical	
     federal	programs	such	as	SNAP	(formerly	known	as	Food	Stamps),	the	WIC	(Women,	Infants	and	
     Children)	program,	and	the	Commodity	Supplemental	Food	Program.



                                       Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
Table of Contents

SEDER OBJECTIVES .........................................................................................................................1

SEDER PARTICIPANTS WILL UNDERSTAND ...........................................................................1

BACKGROUND ON HUNGER SEDERS ..................................................................................... 3

HUNGER SEDER GOALS ...............................................................................................................4

TIMELINE.............................................................................................................................................4

THE HUNGER SEDER PROGRAM............................................................................................... 5

SETTING UP FOR YOUR SEDER .................................................................................................6

RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES .........................................................................................................6

LOCATION .........................................................................................................................................6

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS ............................................................................................................ 7

PARTICIPANTS / WHO TO INVITE ............................................................................................. 7

INFORMING/INVITING THE MEDIA ......................................................................................... 7

AFTER THE SEDER – CONTINUING ACTION ..................................................................... 10




                                                             Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                       2
BACKGROUND ON HUNGER SEDERS
Over	the	past	three	years,	Jewish	Community	Relations	Councils	(JCRCs),	synagogues,	and	other	Jewish	
agencies	across	the	country	have	brought	local	Jewish	communities	together	with	interfaith	partners		and	
anti-hunger	advocates	to	host	Hunger	Seders.	These	special	Seder	programs,	sponsored	and	coordinated	by	
MAZON:	A	Jewish	Response	to	Hunger	(MAZON)	and	the	Jewish	Council	for	Public	Affairs	(JCPA),	were	
developed	to	provide	a	meaningful	expression	of	the	powerful	words	of	the	Pesach	Haggadah:	“Let all who are
hungry come and eat.”	


Hunger	Seder	participants	observed	the	ancient	traditions	of	Pesach	in	the	context	of	a	stark	reality:	that	too	
many	of	our	fellow	Americans	are	still	going	hungry.	The	Seder	served	a	vital	education	purpose	and		
presented	an	important	call	to	action	for	the	American	Jewish	community	to	join	us	in	our	efforts	to	end	
hunger	in	America.	


This	Guide	outlines	the	details	about	the	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder,	and	provides	some	available	
resources	and	opportunities	that	may	help	you	plan	and	host	a	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	at	your	
synagogue,	JCRC,	or	community	agency.


If	you	have	general	questions	about	Hunger	Seders,	please	contact	Nicole	Tenret	at	MAZON	at	310-442-
0020	or	ntenret@mazon.org	or	Robin	Rosenbaum	at	the	JCPA	at	202-212-6037	or	rrosenbaum@thejcpa.org.	


Also,	please	let	MAZON	and	the	JCPA	know	about	the	plans	for	your	Hunger	Seder;	we	are	keeping	track	
of	all	of	the	Hunger	Seder	events	happening	across	the	country	and	want	to	be	sure	to	include	information	
about	your	efforts	as	part	of	this	national	mobilization.		In	addition,	please	send	to	the	staff	members	listed	
above	copies	of	any	special	materials	developed	as	well	as	pictures	and	media	coverage	from	your	local	Hunger	
Seder.		We	are	compiling	all	of	this	information	to	demonstrate	the	collective	power	of	this	national	Jewish	
community	effort.		




                                             Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                 3
HUNGER SEDER GOALS
The	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	should	reflect	the	community	in	which	it	is	held.	There	is	no	specific	format	
or	formula	for	Seder,	but	there	are	three	distinct	goals	around	which	we	hope	every	Hunger	Seder	will	be	built:

1.	 To	help	participants	recognize	and	embrace	the	import	of	a	Jewish	response	to	hunger.

2.	 To	teach	community	members	about	the	continuing	challenge	of	overcoming	hunger	in		
    our	communities,	states	and	nation.

3.	 To	create	opportunities	for	immediate,	mid-term	and	long-term	engagement	with		
    hunger	issues	at	the	local	and	national	levels.

You	may	choose	to	create	a	focus	for	your	Hunger	Seder,	such	as:

•	   Interfaith	participation
•	   Children/families
•	   Follow-up	action	&	advocacy
•	   Community	education	around	issues	of	food	and	hunger

**MAZON	and	the	JCPA	can	provide	you	with	additional	insights,	materials	and	direction	for	any	of	these	
themes,	should	you	decide	to	incorporate	one	of	them.


TIMELINE
Each	community’s	calendar	is	different	and	has	different	priorities,	so	not	all	Hunger	Seders	will	be	held	on	the	
same	day	nor	need	they	be.	By	working	together	and	well	in	advance	of	Pesach,	we	hope	you	will	be	able	to	plan	
your	Hunger	Seder	according	to	the	following	timeline:

Hunger	Seder	Haggadah	Available		                                                        March	1,	2011

Local	Hunger	Seders	(ideal)	                                               March	29-April	21,	2011

Passover	Begins,	First	Seder	                                                              April	6,	2012




                                             Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                   4
THE HUNGER SEDER PROGRAM
The	Hunger	Seder	Haggadah	that	MAZON	and	JCPA	have	created	provides	the	template	for	the	Seder	
experience.	Crafted	on	the	foundation	of	a	traditional	Seder,	it	includes	teachings,	insights	and	information	
that	bring	issues	of	hunger	into	the	prayers,	readings	and	discussions	around	the	Seder	table.	It	incorporates	
a	full	Seder	experience	including	time	for	a	traditional	meal,	although	Seder	hosts	may	choose	to	plan	
a	Hunger	Seder	event	that	does	not	include	a	meal	or	create	an	alternative	eating	experience,	such	as	
providing	only	a	bowl	of	soup	for	some	participants	to	symbolize	those	in	our	communities	who	are	going	
hungry	on	that	night.	


We	know	many	congregations	have	already	scheduled	a	community	Seder	for	the	second	night	of	Pesach.	
The	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	Haggadah	is	designed	to	allow	synagogues	to	incorporate	all	or	only	
portions	of	the	Hunger	Seder	into	their	community	Seder.


We	also	know	that	the	logistics	and	resources	needed	to	prepare	and	serve	a	full	meal	can	present	a	number	
of	challenges.	We	encourage	Seder	hosts	to	think	creatively	about	managing	these	challenges,	including	
making	the	meal	potluck,	creating	a	planning	committee,	etc.


As	you	finalize	plans	for	your	Hunger	Seder,	you	are	strongly	encouraged	to	invite	leading	members	of	the	
community	to	join	you,	including	elected	officials.	Consider	assigning	portions	of	the	readings	to	them,	to	
emphasize	their	role	in	changing	current	policies	that	impact	those	who	are	food	insecure.


In	the	Hunger	Seder	Haggadah,	sections	for	the	Seder	“Leader”	to	read	are	noted.	In	addition,	readings	that	
should	be	read	together	aloud	by	all	Seder	participants	are	indicated	in	the	text.	All	other	readings	can	be	
read	aloud	on	a	rotating	basis	by	asking	each	participant	to	read	the	paragraph	when	his/her	turn	comes	up.	
Or,	if	preferred,	assigned	reading	parts	can	be	giving	to	specific	Seder	participants	in	advance;	to	do	this,	it	
is	advisable	to	give	numbers	to	each	reading	part	in	the	margins	of	the	Haggadah	so	that	participants	know	
when	their	reading	parts	appear	in	the	context	of	the	program.		


The	organizers	for	your	Hunger	Seder	event	and	the	person	who	will	serve	as	the	Seder	“Leader”	should	
read	carefully	through	the	Hunger	Seder	Haggadah	in	advance	to	become	familiar	with	the	content	and	
flow	of	the	program.


Please	feel	free	to	modify	or	remove	any	Seder	elements	according	to	your	customs	and	to	make	the	Hunger	
Seder	Haggadah	a	comfortable	fit	for	your	event.




                                              Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                 5
SETTING UP FOR YOUR SEDER
Set	up	in	a	comfortable	room,	with	space	to	move	around.	If	you	have	a	large	number	of	participants,	decide	how	
you	can	best	set	up	the	room	so	that	everyone	will	be	able	to	hear.	


RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES
In	addition	to	the	traditional	supplies	for	hosting	a	Passover	Seder,	it	will	be	helpful	for	you	to	plan	to	have	the	
following	supplies	available	for	your	Hunger	Seder	event:

•	   Copies	of	the	special	Hunger	Seder	Haggadah	and	additional	materials	for	all	event	participants

•	   Stationary	or	paper	plates,	pens,	envelopes,	and	stamps	for	writing	letters	to	Congress

•	   Copies	of	the	Hunger	Seder	supplemental	Haggadah	reading,	which	participants	are	
     encouraged	to	take	home	and	use	at	their	family	Seders	to	bring	up	a	discussion	about	hunger	

•	   Copies	of	an	op-ed	or	letter	to	the	editor	related	to	the	themes	of	the	Hunger	Seder	if	one	was	
     recently	published	before	the	Seder

•	   Statistics	and	information	about	the	specific	challenges	of	hunger	in	your	community	and	state	

•	   Information	about	local	and	national	anti-hunger	organizations,	including	MAZON,	the	
     JCPA,	local	food	banks,	and	other	service	providers


LOCATION
The	ideal	location	for	your	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	will	vary	depending	on	your	goals	and	plans.	Most	
synagogues	will	hold	their	Seder	at	the	synagogue,	but	there	is	certainly	no	requirement	to	do	so.	You	may	choose	
to	co-host	your	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	with	your	local	Jewish	Federation	or	Jewish	agency,	local	anti-hunger	
organizations,	other	synagogues,	or	a	local	church.	Listed	below	are	a	few	potential	alternative	locations	that	may	
add	value	to	your	program:

•	   Food	Bank
•	   Soup	Kitchen
•	   Jewish	Family	Services	space
•	   Local	SNAP	(food	stamps)	office	(likely	in	the	Department	of	Health	&	Human	Services)
•	   Other	service	provider	locations
•	   City	Council	/	Mayoral	offices
•	   Grocery	Store	with	meeting	space


                                              Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                     6
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
In	addition	to	this	Guide,	MAZON	and	JCPA	are	developing	the	following	resources:

•	   MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	Haggadah	
•	   Jewish	Response	to	the	Farm	Bill	materials:
     •	 Sign-on	petition	encouraging	our	elected	officials	to	develop	food	and	agricultural	policies	that	are	
        consistent	with	Jewish	values
     •	 Background	information	about	the	Farm	Bill
     •	 Key	Advocacy	Points	for	participants	to	use	in	a	letter	to	their	elected	representatives
     •	 The	8	Myths	of	Hunger	–	a	handout	that	dispels	eight	common	misperceptions	about	hunger	and	its	
        causes,	which	you	can	use	to	initiate	dialogue	among	your	Seder	participants

All	of	these	resources	are	available	in	electronic	format,	and	some	are	also	available	as	printed	copies.


PARTICIPANTS / WHO TO INVITE
You	may	choose	to	make	the	Seder	a	larger	community	event	to	which	all	members	of	your	congregation,	JCRC,	
and/or	other	sponsoring	organization	are	invited.	You	may	choose	to	focus	on	children	or	young	adults,	inviting	
them	to	plan	and	lead	the	Seder.	Or	you	may	choose	to	use	this	as	an	opportunity	to	engage	new	community	
members,	as	well	as	re-engage	and	build	relationships	with	community	organizations.	We	encourage	you	to	be	
creative	and	cast	a	wide	net.


No	matter	your	Hunger	Seder’s	focus,	we	highly	suggest	you	invite	local	elected	officials,	key	city	staff,	leaders	
from	local	anti-hunger	organizations,	and	media	representatives	in	order	to	help	spread	the	word	about	the	
Jewish	commitment	to	fighting	hunger	in	your	community.


INFORMING/INVITING THE MEDIA
In	addition	to	engaging	more	community	members	in	sustained,	coordinated	action	to	overcome	hunger,	the	
MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	can	be	a	tool	to	educate	the	community	at	large	about	hunger	issues	and	to	
place	public	pressure	on	local	leaders	to	act	on	these	issues	–	even	if	these	people	are	not	in	the	room.	To	take	
advantage	of	this	opportunity,	you	can	use	the	media.	




                                              Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                   7
Mechanisms	for	engaging	the	press	and	generating	media	attention	include	(but	are	not	limited	to):

•	   Inviting	members	of	the	press	to	your	event
      •	 Writers	for	the	local	daily	paper
      •	 Writers	for	the	local	Jewish	paper
      •	 Prominent	local	bloggers
•	   Writing	and	submitting	opinion-editorial	pieces	to	the	local	paper	

•	   Promoting	the	Hunger	Seder	on	Facebook,	Twitter	and	other	social	media	networks

•	   Writing	articles	for	synagogue	newsletters,	Federation/JCRC	bulletins,	school	papers,	etc.

When	promoting	your	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder,	both	directly	to	the	press	and	via	social	media	outlets,	it	is	
important	to	have	a	clear	“hook”	to	get	people	engaged	–	in	other	words,	you	should	be	explicit	about	why	should	
they	be	interested	in	this	event.	Potential	“hooks”	include	a	new,	exciting	interfaith	relationship,	the	time-sensitive	
advocacy	opportunity	around	the	reauthorization	of	the	Farm	Bill,	a	local	issue	of	particular	importance,	a	link	to	a	
recently	covered	story	in	the	news,	doing	something	that’s	never	been	done	before,	etc.


MEDIA ADVISORY

A	Media	Advisory	is	very	straightforward	description	of	an	upcoming	event	or	action	–	it	is	basically	an	invitation	
and	description	of	the	“who,	what,	where,	when	and	why”	of	your	event.


Send	a	Media	Advisory	to	local	newspaper	and	television	reporters,	bloggers	and	other	interested	media	
approximately	1-2	weeks	before	your	event	to	give	them	the	details	and	encourage	them	to	come.	The	key	factors	
in	a	Media	Advisory	include:

1.	 Who	is	attending?
     a.	 Any	local	or	nationally	elected	leaders?
     b.	 Are	any	locally	or	nationally-known/respected	religious	figures	participating?
     c.	 Are	people	who	benefit	from	federal	feeding	programs	(SNAP,	WIC,	free	or	reduced		
         price	school	lunches,	etc)	participating?
     d.	 What	groups	(of	people	or	organizations)	are	hosting	the	Seder?
     e.	 Is	the	Seder	bringing	together	groups	of	people	or	individuals	who	do	not	normally		
         come	together	for	anything,	let	alone	a	Passover	Seder?
2.	 Where	is	the	Hunger	Seder	being	held?
     a.	 Is	the	venue	the	Seder	is	being	held	unique?



                                              Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                        8
3.	 How	many	people	are	you	expecting?	Is	this	larger	than	past	years/Seders?
4.	 Is	this	year’s	Seder	unique	in	other	ways?
      a.	 Is	this	the	first	year	you	are	hosting	a	Hunger	Seder?
      b.	 Did	you	host	a	successful	Hunger	Seder	last	year?
      c.	 What	action	is	involved	in	the	Seder?	
      d.	 Are	people	going	to	be	sharing	personal	experiences	during	the	Seder?
      e.	 Will	you	be	writing	letters	to	your	Representatives	and	Senators?
      f.	 Are	you	doing	other	advocacy	or	action	activities?
      g.	 Will	any	of	the	Seder	be	streamed	online	or	tweeted?
      h.	 Why	are	you	hosting	a	Hunger	Seder	or	using	the	Hunger	Seder	materials?	What	made	them	
            unique	and	why	are	they	important	for	your	community	in	particular?

OP-ED

An	Op-Ed	is	a	newspaper	article	that	expresses	the	opinion	of	the	author(s).	To	have	your	op-ed	published	in	a	
local	paper,	it	must	catch	the	eye	of	the	newspaper	editor.	Below	are	things	to	consider	when	writing	an	op-ed:

1.	 Use	the	op-ed	to	tell	a	story	–	either	a	personal	or	community	story	–	that	you	feel	has	not	been	told.
2.	 Don’t	try	to	do	too	much.	Focus	the	op-ed	on	one	or	two	issues,	rather	than	trying	to	address	everything.
3.	 Tie	the	op-ed	to	your	upcoming	Hunger	Seder	as	an	exciting	way	for	interested	community	members	to	
    follow-up	with	you	and	the	issues	raised	in	the	article.
4.	 Work	with	a	community	member,	likely	either	a	well-known	local	leader	or	a	recipient	of	food	aid,	to	
    help	them	write	an	op-ed.	Many	op-eds	are	published	because	of	the	author’s	name	and	biography,	not	
    only	the	content.
5.	 Tie	your	Hunger	Seder	to	the	national	Hunger	Seders	mobilization.	Last	year’s	mobilization	featured	
    seders	in	more	than	40	communities	across	22	states.	Being	a	part	of	a	national	campaign	adds	weight	to	
    your	Hunger	Seder	and	your	words.
6.	 Most	papers	only	publish	op-eds	that	are	800	words	or	less.

Also	consider	reaching	out	to	non-traditional	sources,	such	as	well-read	local	blogs,	if	you	are	having	trouble	
placing	the	op-ed	in	a	traditional	newspaper.


PRESS RELEASE

A	Press	Release	is	an	announcement	for	the	press	following	an	event	or	other	newsworthy	action.	A	press	release	
tells	the	story	of	your	Hunger	Seder,	includes	quotes	from	leaders	and	participants,	and	is	the	basis	for	most	news	
stories	that	will	be	written	about	the	event.


                                             Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                     9
AFTER THE SEDER – CONTINUING ACTION
A	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	is	a	great	way	to	engage	people	in	the	issue	of	hunger,	but	what	happens	after	
the	Seder	is	nearly	as	important	as	the	Seder	itself.	By	capitalizing	on	the	energy	and	passion	of	your	Hunger	
Seder	participants,	you	encourage	your	community	to	deepen	its	engagement	in	hunger	issues.


The	specific,	immediate	action	opportunities	associated	with	the	MAZON/JCPA	Hunger	Seder	will	be	
developed	as	we	have	a	better	idea	of	the	legislative	agenda	for	the	year.	In	addition	to	the	action	opportunities	
we	provide,	MAZON	and	the	JCPA	can	provide	assistance	to	think	about	the	outcomes	you	wish	to	achieve	
through	your	Hunger	Seder,	as	well	as	the	additional	follow-up	actions	that	will	engage	your	community	
immediately	and	in	the	future.

Examples	of	potential	actions	could	include:

•	   Writing	letters	to	local,	state	and	national	leaders	urging	them	to	take	action	on	specific	hunger-related	
     programs/legislation

•	   Creating	regular	service	and/or	advocacy	opportunities	for	participant

•	   Using	the	Hunger	Seder	as	the	first	step	in	creating	a	community	hunger	coalition

•	   Working	with	a	local	hunger-related	non-profit	to	create	more	educational/action	opportunities	that	build	
     on	the	learning	inherent	in	the	Hunger	Seder

•	   Creating	opportunities	for	people	to	help	those	in	need	access	needed	resources,	like	food	stamp	benefits	

•	   Engaging	enthusiastic	Hunger	Seder	participants	to	plan	a	follow-up	community	event,	such	as	a	panel	
     with	expert	speakers	discussing	the	challenges	and	potential	solutions	and/or	people	telling	their	own	
     stories	of	struggling	with	hunger	

•	   Creating	an	art	project	(book/mural/video/quilt/other)	that	provides	a	way	for	people	to	share	their	
     experiences	with	hunger,	ideas	about	how	to	overcome	hunger,	impressions	from	the	event,	etc.,	and	
     creating	a	public	space	to	display	this	artwork.

•	   Working	with	a	local	television	station	or	media	outlet	to	profile	stories	of	local	individuals	and	families	
     struggling	with	hunger	to	help	put	a	human	face	on	the	issue	and	also	feature	information	about	the	
     agencies	and	programs	that	are	providing	needed	assistance




                                               Introduction to the MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                  10

				
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