2012 Hunger Seder Hagaddah by jcpainfo

VIEWS: 243 PAGES: 40

                A Seder Dedicated to
            Hunger Awareness and Activism
2012 5772
                                      Table of Contents
What is a Hunger Seder?                                                     1
Candle Lighting                                                             2
Kadesh - The First Cup: We will feed our communities today.                 3
Urchatz - Handwashing                                                       4
Karpas - Green Vegetable                                                    5
Yachatz - Breaking the Middle Matzah                                        5
Maggid - Telling the Story                                                  8
    Ma Nishtana – The Four Questions                                        9
    The Four Children                                                      10
    The Ten Plagues                                                        11
    Dayenu                                                                 12
Kos Sheini - The Second Cup: We will seek out those in need and act
 to nourish our neighbors and ourselves.                                   13
Matzah                                                                     14
Maror - Bitter Herbs                                                       14
Koreich - Hillel Sandwich                                                  15
B’chol Dor Va Dor: In Every Generation                                     15
Shulchan Oreich - Festival Meal                                            15
Barech: Invitation to Gratitude                                            16
Kos Sh’lishi - The Third Cup: We will use our power to persuade our
 leaders to act to abolish hunger in our communities.                      16
Tzafun - Finding the Afikomen                                              18
Kos R’vi-i - The Fourth Cup: We will create a world where all Americans,
 and all people, are free from hunger.                                     19
Kos Eliyahu - The Cup of Elijah                                            20
Nirtzah - Conclusion                                                       21
Addendum #1: Passover Songs                                                22
Addendum #2: Educate Yourself & Get Involved                               26
Addendum #3: Related Op-Eds/ Letters                                       27
Addendum #4: A Jewish Response to the Farm Bill Petition                   37

                                     MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
What is a Hunger Seder?
LEADER: Each year, Jews across the world join with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers to celebrate
        the holiday of Passover. But why? What is behind this tradition?

Though Passover celebrates the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery in Egypt, it is truly a
celebration of freedom from all slavery and oppression. Yet in our world today, both still exist.
Many people, even in a free society such as ours, are bound by hardships and challenges that
make them virtual slaves to their circumstances.

LEADER: For those of us who do not usually suffer the agony of hunger, today is a day to stand in the shoes
        of others, to remember that every one of us should be free from hunger and have the right to eat
        nourishing, sustaining food. As we learn in Pirke Avot, the teachings of our fathers,

      .‫לא עליך המלאכה לגמור, ולא אתה בן חורין להבטל ממנה‬
                        Lo alecha ham’lacha ligmor, v’lo ata ben chorin l’hibatale mimena.
                          “You are not obligated to finish the work [of perfecting the world]
                                    but neither are you allowed to desist from it.”

Seder means “order.” The ordered rituals and symbols of the Passover Seder help us to tell the story of the Jewish
people’s liberation from slavery in Egypt. During the traditional Seder, we join together and drink 4 cups of wine: a
cup for each of the promises of freedom G-d made to the Israelites as G-d led us out from slavery in Egypt.

Today we join together and make four new promises; promises not about breaking the shackles of Egyptian slavery
but about breaking the bonds of hunger. We do so standing together and calling for a better tomorrow, one in which
we are all blessed to have healthy, delicious food for our families, our neighbors, our friends, and for all Americans.

                                              MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                         1

     1.   We will feed our communities today.
     2.   We will seek out those in need and act to nourish our neighbors and ourselves.
     3.   We will use our power to persuade our leaders to act to abolish hunger in our communities.
     4. We will create a world where all Americans and all people are free from hunger.

LEADER: Let us join together in song:

    Option 1:                            Option 2:                               Option 3:
    Avadim Hayinu                        The Building Song                       Hymn of Promise
    We Were Slaves

* See attached Song Sheet (Addendum 1) for lyrics

Candle Lighting
LEADER: The Jewish community’s tradition of tzedakah is rooted in helping people who live in poverty to
        meet their basic needs. It is also our obligation as Jews to help people at risk of hunger to confront
        their challenges and move toward self-sufficiency. The essence of the Passover story is the message that
        achieving freedom from hardship requires confronting and overcoming great challenges.

                                   (ALL READ IN UNISON)
                                   Everyone must know that within them burns a candle.
                                   And no one’s candle is identical with the candle of another.
                                   It is our obligation to work hard to reveal the light of our candle,
                                   And to make of it a real torch to enlighten the whole world.
                                                            – Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook

2                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
          ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו‬
                     ‫וצונו להדליק נר של יום טוב‬
                    Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, asher kideshanu be’mitzvotav
                                        ve’tzivanu lehadlik ner shel yom tov
                 Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us with
                       Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the Festival light.

                ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם שהחינו וקימנו‬
                              ‫והגיענו לזמן הזה‬
                     Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, she’hecheyanu ve’kiyemanu
                                              ve’higianu la’zman ha’zeh
                  Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who has granted us life,
                               and sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.

Kadesh - The First Cup:
             We will feed our communities today
LEADER: We lift our glasses and read the blessing over the wine together (drink wine after the blessing):

               ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם בורא פרי הגפן‬
                          Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, borei p’ri hagafen
              Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

                                             MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                              3
       An old man was walking along a beach when he happened upon a young
       girl picking up starfish, one by one, and throwing them gently into the
       water. He asked the girl, “Why are you throwing these starfish into the
       ocean?” She replied, “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out. If I
       don’t throw them back, they will die on the beach.”

       The old man looked at the girl and remarked, “But there are miles and
       miles of beach and many starfish along each mile. You can’t possibly
       make a difference.” The young girl listened politely and smiled. Then she
       bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back in the ocean, and
       turned to the old man. “It made a difference for that one,” she replied.

Each time we volunteer at a soup kitchen, spend a day sorting boxes at the food bank, or donate extra food
from our cupboards, our actions have value beyond measure. The Talmud, the writings of Judaism’s oral law
and commentary, holds up this action and declares,

                “Whoever saves a life, it is as if s/he saved the entire world.”

This is one important way we fulfill our promise to feed our communities today.

Urchatz - Handwashing
Just like the priests in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, we are commanded to wash our hands to remind
ourselves that we too are a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:8) and our actions are in the
service of G-d. However, let us be mindful that we not wash our hands of the responsibility of caring for those
people both within and outside of our immediate community who experience the worst torments of hunger.

Leader washes his/her hands.

4                                           MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
Karpas - Green Vegetable
LEADER: Karpas is from the Greek word Karpos, which means “fruit of the soil.” When spring comes we
        note with pleasure the bounty of vegetables and fruits in the market. Yet in many communities
        and neighborhoods across the country, instead of a seasonal bounty there exists persistent scarcity.

Too many families struggle to put food on the table. Too many families are forced to make
impossible choices between their most basic necessities – food, rent, medicine. Too many
families simply cannot afford nutritious food, which negatively impacts their health.

This year, as we dip our Karpas into salt water, let us remember that we must work to
increase access to affordable, good quality, healthy food for everyone.

Distribute green vegetable, dipped in salt water, then together recite blessing over the Karpas:

                  ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם בורא פרי האדמה‬
                                   Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’adama
                   Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruits of the earth.
                         May the blessings of Your bountiful harvests be enjoyed by all of humankind.

Yachatz - Breaking the Middle Matzah
LEADER (breaks matzah and holds up the broken piece1): This broken matzah reminds us that our world is broken.
        We recall those who are poor, whose uncertainty about their future compels them to put aside the “broken
        half ” for later use. We are shaken out of our complacency as we recall G-d’s words: “Remember that you
        were slaves in the land of Egypt.” Let us not be arrogant or insensitive to those not born of the wealth of
        our generation.

    The larger piece of the broken the middle matzah is wrapped in a napkin and hidden as the afikomen, and the smaller is returned to the matzah cover .

                                                                MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                                           5
Through service to others, we reach out and strengthen our community. But direct service can only alleviate
some of the pain of hunger. Those who perform direct and spiritual service each day -- our soup kitchen
managers, food bank directors, city and county staff, preachers, imams, and rabbis, and others – must be
thanked and celebrated! But is that enough?

       One day, a group of friends gathered for a picnic at a river near their village. As they
       shared food and conversation, one of them noticed a baby in the river, struggling and
       crying as she floated downstream. Quickly, they rushed to save her from drowning. But
       no sooner had they done so, two more babies came floating down the river. And even
       more after that!

       The friends quickly decided they needed to coordinate more of the villagers to assist
       in their rescue activities to ensure that none of the babies perished. They organized
       volunteers to take turns watching over the water and rescuing the babies as they floated
       down the river. Volunteers recruited their friends to help, and before long the entire
       village was helping to rescue the babies from the river.

       In the middle of the ongoing rescue operations, one villager jumped out of the river and
       began running upstream.

       “Where are you going?” shouted the other rescuers. “We need you here to help us save
       these babies!”

       As she ran she replied, “I’m going upstream to stop whoever is throwing them in!”

6                                           MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
What must we do to create the long-term, long-lasting changes required to eliminate hunger once and for
all? What actions can we take now that will fulfill our promise to feed our communities today and every day?

LEADER: In previous Seders like this one, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, elected leaders, advocates for
        social justice, champions for feeding the hungry, students, and families came together to learn about
        the prevalence of hunger in the U.S. and to urge Congress to take action on behalf of those who
        struggle with food insecurity.

We came together to advocate for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which the President signed into law
on December 13, 2010. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act reaches millions of schoolchildren across the
country, ensuring that have access to healthy, sustaining meals during the school day and at afterschool and
summer programs.

We took the first step toward ensuring that no child will go hungry and the food provided to all of our
children will be nourishing and sustaining. Today, we celebrate this victory and the significant step forward
we’ve taken to overcome hunger in the United States.

LEADER Let us sing together in celebration:

  Option 1:                              Option 2:                                Option 3:
  V’Nomar L’fanav                        Haleylu / Kol Ha’Nishtama                Glory, Glory Halleluyah

* See attached Song Sheet (Addendum 1) for lyrics

This year, we unite to urge Congress to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP,
formerly known as food stamps), which provides vital resources to 46 million Americans who otherwise
would not be able to feed their families.

Each and every action we take does make a difference. When we participate in Hunger Seders, write letters,
or talk to our policymakers; when we make our voices heard in the public square, call attention to our moral
values in newspapers or demonstrate our priorities at the ballot box, we become more and more engaged in
the ongoing struggle to end hunger in our communities.

Today we stand together in celebration. We remind ourselves of our first promise: We will feed our
communities today!

                                              MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                 7
Maggid - Telling the Story
LEADER: We were slaves in Egypt and G-d brought us out from there with a strong hand and an
        outstretched arm. If G-d had not brought us out from Egypt, then we, our children, and our
        children’s children might still have been slaves in Egypt. Even though we have told the story
        before and know it well, it is still our duty to tell it. And the more we tell it, the more we are to
        be praised. (Avadim Hayinu – We were Slaves)

Rabbi Gamliel taught that when we tell the story of the Exodus, we must also explain the meaning of
the most important symbols: zeroah, matzah, and maror.

The Passover sacrifice, a roasted shank bone (‫ ,זרוע‬zeroah) is a reminder that during the 10th plague, G-d
“passed over” the homes of the Israelites, sparing the first born. When we were slaves in Egypt, G-d told
us to put lamb’s blood on our door to escape the slaying of the first born.

(ALL) G-d led the Israelites out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. May we
contribute strong hands and outstretched arms to support those around us who are in need.

(LEADER holds up matzah)

We eat this matzah (‫ )מצה‬and say Ha Lachmah Anya -- this is the bread of affliction, baked on the backs
of the Israelites as they fled from Egyptian slavery.

Matzah is not only the bread of affliction, but also the bread of freedom, eaten by the Israelites as they
fled from Egypt and crossed the sea to a new life. Matzah reminds us that, one day, we will overcome
oppression once and for all.

We then say, “Let all who are hungry come and eat,” but how can we accommodate such an invitation?
As we gather for this Hunger Seder, nearly 50 million American men, women and children struggle
with hunger – unfortunately we cannot invite each of them to our table. But this does not mean we are
without recourse. Let us give modern meaning to these ancient words by doing everything we can to free
people from the bondage of hunger. Let us commit to ensuring that each and every one of us has access
to the nutritious food we need to lead a healthy life.

8                                             MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
Ma Nishtana – The Four Questions
LEADER: The Four Questions we ask at our Hunger Seder challenge us to consider what is different about this night.
        Only when we ask the right questions can we understand the real meaning of hunger and hope to do

        something about it.

              (ALL) Why is this year different from all other years?

              This year we have the opportunity to reauthorize the Farm Bill, the piece of legislation that funds
              programs and sets standards for our nation’s largest anti-hunger program, SNAP (Supplemental
              Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps). This program, along with other
              critical feeding programs, has faced numerous threats to funding, participant access, and the
              fundamental structure of the program. This year is different because of significant pressure to lower
              the deficit through large-scale cuts to the federal budget. We must make certain that hungry families
              struggling to put food on their tables do not suffer because of this. This year we need to stand up to

              protect the most vulnerable in our country.

              (ALL) Why a Hunger Seder?

              Despite passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, there are many more individuals still suffering
              from the oppression of hunger. More than 50 million people in the United States still do not receive
              the food they need for a minimally healthy life. Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
              Program (SNAP) was partially cut to pay for the child nutrition bill, and Congress is considering a
              proposal to reinstate this funding. We must urge Congress to accept this proposal. Many programs
              on which older Americans depend are also being threatened by funding reductions. These are tough
              times. We must raise our voices to ensure that everyone understands the urgency of the need –

              especially our policymakers.

              (ALL) Why are so many people hungry when there are government programs to support them?

              While government programs like SNAP and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (which
              provides home-delivered food packages to low-income seniors) are important, they can only help
              those who are enrolled. Sometimes people are not aware the programs exist or that they qualify. Other
              times the process to enroll is so complicated that people just give up. And for some, especially older
              Americans, the stigma attached to asking for assistance is so great, they choose to suffer in silence.
              This is why we must expand access to these programs and make it easier for people to participate.

                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                          9
              (ALL) How is it possible that, in the United States, hunger and obesity are connected?

              In many cases, obesity is actually a consequence of hunger. Currently, it is more expensive to
              purchase healthy, nutritious food, so low- and moderate-income families often opt for cheaper
              and less-healthy foods to get the maximum number of calories per dollar. Also, low- and
              moderate-income communities are often “food deserts,” where options for purchasing healthy
              foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce. For many such families, their only option is
              to shop at convenience stores and fast food restaurants - outlets that are primarily stocked
              with foods that are high in fat, calories and sugar. Only when more Americans are able to take
              advantage of healthy, nutritious food options will we be able to address the obesity epidemic in a
              meaningful way.

The Four Children
LEADER: At Passover, we talk about the Four Children, each of whom has a different reaction to hearing the
        Passover story. During today’s Seder, we read about four people who have different perspectives on
        hunger and have all experienced it differently. Each has a particular reaction to what s/he is learning.
        None are right, and none are wrong. But helping each of them understand the issues is critical to
        overcoming hunger in the United States.

LEADER: Person 1: I want to help. Teach me about hunger, and how I can help.

(ALL) To this person, reply that the most important thing to know is hunger does not need to exist in the
United States. It’s not a problem of enough food, but of creating ways for people to access and afford food that
is healthy, nutritious, and sustaining. Provide her with information about programs that help people access
healthy food – such as SNAP, WIC, school breakfasts and lunches, and senior feeding programs. Teach her
how to visit her public officials, write letters to the editor, organize petitions, and join with others to impact
real social change.

LEADER: Person 2: But I’m not hungry. What does this have to do with me?

(ALL) To this person, reply that although he does not experience the oppression of hunger daily, it is only
when none are hungry that we will truly live in a safe, stable, and just community.

10                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
LEADER: Person 3: My family is hungry but we’ve never needed help to buy food before. This is embarrassing.

(ALL) To this person, reply that it is okay to need help. When she asks for help and she receives it, she is
making the world more whole by feeding her children. There is no shame in seeking assistance and,
in truth, it is those among us who refuse to lend a helping hand who should be ashamed.

LEADER: Person 4: I have experienced hunger but I need extra help to overcome it. Why is learning about
           hunger important to me when what I really need is food?
(ALL) To this person reply that in the daily struggle of hunger, it seems impossible to look beyond one single
person and see the enormity of the problem in the United States. Yet, the problem will only be solved when we
all come together to say – No more! When Moses inspired the slaves in Egypt, they joined forces with others
who were suffering. Today is our day to work as one to repair the world.

The Ten Plagues
LEADER: On Passover, we read about the 10 plagues G-d unleashed on the Egyptians. But the plagues we see today
        are not punishment from G-d. The plagues we see today are plagues of our own making -- the awful,
        unintended results of our own actions and creations. As we read each of these plagues aloud, we dip a
        finger into the wine and touch a drop onto our plate. This reminds us that, even as we celebrate freedom,
        our freedom is not complete.

Dip your finger in your glass and place a drop of wine on the plate for each plague:


    1.   The single mother who gives the last bits of food in the house to her child,
         while she goes hungry

    2.   The grandfather who must choose between paying for medicine
         and paying for his lunch

    3.   A neighbor who never invites you over because she can’t offer you food

    4. An unemployed mom who is too embarrassed to apply for food stamps

                                              MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                     11
5.   A friend who feels alienated because he cannot join in on social events at restaurants

6. The woman who brings plastic bags to Shabbat Oneg or a church lunch to take home
   food for the rest of the week

7.   A father who does not apply for food stamps because he cannot understand the
     application system

8. The tons of edible food that spoil or are thrown away

9.   The young couple who live in an urban neighborhood where there is no full-service
     grocery store, only fast food and convenience stores

10. APATHY – the greatest plague of all, the failure to make ending hunger a national priority

After telling the story of hunger in the United States, before moving on to critical actions we must take, it is
important to reflect on our gratitude for what we have.

In the traditional Passover Seder, we thank G-d for the miracles G-d performed and, after reciting each
miracle, reply aloud “Dayenu” – this alone would have been enough.

LEADER: In today’s Hunger Seder, we pause to recite aloud the blessings we enjoy. After each blessing, we take a
        moment to say together “Dayenu – for this, we are grateful.”

                                  Day Day-enu, Day Day-enu, Day Day-enu
                                             Dayenu, Dayenu (x2)

1.   We are grateful that so many among us do not suffer from the
     oppression and hardship of daily hunger                                                           Dayenu

2.   We are grateful to live in a democracy in which we are able to
     influence our government’s priorities                                                             Dayenu

12                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
3.   We are grateful for the opportunity to direct national attention
     to hunger issues                                                                                 Dayenu

4. We are grateful to those who use their hands to stock a food bank,
   their feet to march to Capitol Hill, and their voices to demand justice                            Dayenu

5.   We are grateful we made the time to be present for this Hunger Seder
     to educate ourselves and be inspired to act                                                      Dayenu

6. We are grateful for each other – alone we are limited, but together
   we are a powerful voice for change                                                                 Dayenu

Kos Sheini - The Second Cup:
            We will seek out those in need and act
           to nourish our neighbors and ourselves.
LEADER: We lift our glasses and read the blessing over the wine together (drink wine after the blessing):

               ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם בורא פרי הגפן‬
                          Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, borei p’ri hagafen
              Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

The Second Cup represents our promise to see those in need and act to nourish our neighbors and ourselves.
We drink this cup to share the story of oppression of hunger, and to look forward to a future when all people
are free from the bondage of food insecurity.

                                             MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                  13
LEADER: We join together in the blessing over the matzah (lift up matzah and eat a piece after the blessing):

           ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו‬
                         ‫וצונו על אכילת מצה‬
                    Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, asher kideshanu be’mitzvotav
                                            ve’tzivanu al achilat matzah
     Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who has made us holy with G-d’s commandments and
                                            commanded us to eat matzah.

Maror - Bitter Herbs
LEADER: Another important Passover symbol is maror (‫ ,)מרור‬bitter herbs. Bitter herbs serve as a reminder of how
        the Egyptians embittered the lives of our fathers and mothers. When we eat these bitter herbs, we partake
        in the bitterness of servitude and oppression.

(ALL) It is our obligation, as people and as members of this community, to do what we can to lighten the load of
those less fortunate and to show compassion for all those who continue to face oppression.

LEADER: We join together in the blessing over the maror (lift up maror and eat a piece after the blessing):

           ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו‬
                         ‫וצונו על אכילת מרור‬
                    Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, asher kideshanu be’mitzvotav
                                             ve’tzivanu al achilat maror
     Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who has made us holy with G-d’s commandments and
                                          commanded us to eat bitter herbs.

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Koreich - Hillel Sandwich
On Passover, we also eat charoset (‫ ,)חרוסת‬a sweet mix of apples, nuts and cinnamon. Although charoset tastes
sweet, it symbolizes the mortar the Jewish people used to build and keep the bricks together when they were
slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.

(Take two pieces of matzah and create a sandwich with charoset and bitter herbs.)

During the Passover Seder, we eat a sandwich of maror and charoset between two pieces of matzah, called a
Hillel sandwich. Today’s Hunger Seder is truly represented in this sandwich – the sweetness of the passage of
the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act mixed with the bitterness of hunger that continues to exist, all sandwiched
between matzah which is both the bread of affliction and the bread of freedom.

B’chol Dor Va Dor: In Every Generation
(ALL) Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav taught: The Exodus from Egypt occurs in every human being,
in every era, in every year and on every day. On this day, we act as if we ourselves went out from Egypt,
as if we ourselves are hungry.

Shulchan Oreich - Festival Meal
If the event includes a festival meal, it should be served at this time.

                                               MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                15
Barech: Invitation to Gratitude
LEADER: After we’ve eaten, we bless G-d for the good land that G-d has given us. We bless You, Adonai, for the land
        and for the food it yields. It is our responsibility to make sure that it is distributed so that every person gets
        the nutrition s/he needs to thrive.

                                     ‫ברוך אתה יי הזן את הכל‬
                                          Baruch ata Adonai, hazan et hakol
                              Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, who provides food for all.

Kos Sh’lishi - The Third Cup:
 We will use our power to persuade our leaders to
          act to abolish hunger in our communities

LEADER: We lift our glasses and read the blessing over the wine together (drink wine after the blessing):

                ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם בורא פרי הגפן‬
                           Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, borei p’ri hagafen
              Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

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We thank G-d for providing us wheat to make bread. In doing so, G-d gives us the tools we need to sustain
ourselves and our communities.

We have the tools in place to create a hunger-free world. It is our responsibility to use these tools to influence our
government and create a stronger society.

LEADER: By taking action together with those gathered at this Hunger Seder and other Hunger Seder events
        being held across the country, we have a special opportunity to make a difference in impacting critical
        legislation for programs that touch the lives of millions of Americans.

           Please take a moment to write personal letters to your Representative and Senators on the paper plates or
           stationery provided for you. Express in your own words the importance of fully funding federal programs
           that provide nourishing, life-sustaining food for some of the most vulnerable populations in America.
           Share a brief personal anecdote or reflection from your experiences providing services, helping friends and
           family in need, or suffering from hunger. In your letter, help to put a human face on the crisis of hunger
           and tie it in to federal programs in jeopardy of reduced funding (you can include language from one of
           the key advocacy talking points listed below).

  Key Advocacy Requests on Anti-Hunger Legislation:

  •	   Restore funding cut from SNAP benefits that was used to help pay for the 2010 Child Nutrition
       Reauthorization. In addition, support efforts to enhance and strengthen this important program so it can
       reach more hungry households.

  •	   Protect funding for SNAP in the Farm Bill (and in other legislation) by opposing proposals to cap or
       reduce funding and benefits, restrict eligibility, make structural changes (like block grants), or otherwise
       hinder access or benefit adequacy.

  •	   Fully fund the WIC program at $7.041 billion in order to continue serving 9.1 million participants
       through September 30, 2014.

Note: We will collect all of the letters you write and deliver them in-person to the district offices of the appropriate
Members of Congress. Please share these messages with friends, family, and colleagues. Additional resources and
advocacy opportunities can be found at the end of this Hagaddah or at www.HungerSeder.org.

                                              MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                            17
Tzafun - Finding the Afikomen
Afikomen comes from the Greek word for dessert, and is the last item eaten during the Seder. Traditionally, the
Afikomen is hidden toward the beginning of the Seder to keep children’s attention. When the meal is over, the
Seder’s younger participants search the house for the Afikomen. This year, let’s think of searching for the Afikomen
in the context of a hungry person searching for food.

LEADER: Children, as you look for the Afikomen, imagine that you have not eaten for a while, or that you have not
        eaten enough, and that you are hunting for a meal. How do you think you would you feel?

After the Afikomen is retrieved:

LEADER: Where is the hunger that continues to exist in our country today? For those among us who do not see the
        problem in our daily lives, it is difficult to understand the urgent need that still faces many Americans.

If we could reduce the population of the United States to a town of 100 people, it would look like this:

•	   15 people live below the poverty line and 17 people struggle with hunger and undernourishment.

•	   8 seniors who live alone in the town struggle to put enough food on the table .

•	   5 people must turn to food banks or soup kitchens for food.

•	   62 adults are overweight or obese, many as a result of a lack of access to affordable nutritious foods.

•	   Approximately 197 pounds of food per person are uneaten and go to waste each year.

•	   14 people receive SNAP (food stamp) benefits to buy groceries, and would likely be unable to
     adequately feed themselves and their family without this support. In addition, one in four people
     eligible for SNAP benefits is left unserved.

•	   Half of the babies born in the town and one quarter of the pregnant women participate in WIC
     (Women, Infants & Children) programs, including reduced cost nutritious foods, nutrition and breast
     feeding education, and improved access to health care in order to prevent nutrition-related health
     problems in pregnancy, infancy and early childhood.

18                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
   Optional Activity – Discussion Groups

   Break into small discussion groups and have a 10-15 minute discussion about the “Town of 100 People”
   reading. Some questions to consider:

   •	   Why did you come to today’s Seder? What are you hoping to learn/gain?
   •	   Are these numbers surprising? Why?
   •	   Have you seen examples of hunger as described by this reading in your community?
        If yes, what have you seen? If no, why do you think this is?
   •	   What do you think we can do to reduce the problem of hunger?

The story of the Exodus from Egypt has a happy ending – darkness gave way to light and the oppression of
Egyptian slavery gave way to freedom. This is why we teach our children about the Exodus and also why
we must teach them about hunger and poverty – so they will understand the struggles people face and will
continue the work of making our world better.

Kos R’vi-i - The Fourth Cup:
  We will create a world where all Americans, and
                   all people, are free from hunger

LEADER: We lift our glasses and read the blessing over the wine together (drink wine after the blessing):

               ‫ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם בורא פרי הגפן‬
                         Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Melech ha’olam, borei p’ri hagafen
              Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

                                             MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                              19
        One day, Honi the Circle Maker was walking on the road and saw
        a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will
        it take for this tree to bear fruit?” The man replied, “Seventy years.”

        Honi then asked the man, “And do you think you will live another
        seventy years and eat the fruit of this tree?” The man answered,
        “Perhaps not. However, when I was born into this world, I found
        many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as
        they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and
        grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees.”

                                  -Talmud, as told by Peninah Schram

LEADER: For our Fourth Cup, we promise to create a world where all people, today and for generations to come, will
        be free from hunger and malnutrition. This is a vision of a world that has been redeemed.

Kos Eliyahu - The Cup of Elijah
Pass around Elijah’s cup and have all participants fill the cup with some wine from their own cups

Elijah’s cup sits on our table as a symbol of hope and the coming of the Messiah. It is a Passover tradition for each
person to spill a little wine from his/her glass into Elijah’s cup, which has been empty for the entire Seder. This kind
of collaborative effort is how we will build strong communities for our children and our children’s children.

All rise and face the open door

When the rabbis could not resolve a dispute with one another over a matter of law, they would proclaim: “Elijah will
solve all of the difficult questions and problems.” Today we open the door of the future. We first invite those who
have experienced hunger to join with us to generate solutions. We then invite Elijah, the prophet of hope.

(ALL) We pray that in the coming year, may we come closer to solving the problem of hunger.

20                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
LEADER: We join together in song:

  Option 1:                            Option 2:                                   Option 3:
  Lo Alecha                            Eliahu Ha’navi                              Elijah Rock

* See attached Song Sheet (Addendum 1) for lyrics

Nirtzah - Conclusion
LEADER: Our Seder is now coming to a close. We celebrated our successes, learned about the hunger
        that still plagues our communities, and affirmed our commitment to work together to create
        a hunger-free world. We pray that, at this time next year, our fellow men, women, and
        children will be blessed with abundance and free from the yoke of hunger and poverty.


One day, G-d, may it be Your will
that we live in a world perfected,
in which food comes to the hungry as from heaven
and water will flow to the thirsty as a stream.

But in the meantime,
while the world is filled with hunger,
empower us to stand on Your behalf
and fulfill the words of your prophet:
“to all who are thirsty bring water,”
and “greet those who wander with food.”

This Passover, bless us that we should sustain the hungry.

                                                                               - Rabbi Scott Perlo

                                           MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                         21
Addendum #1: Passover Songs

Avadim Hayinu (S. Postolsky)

                                        ‫עבדים היינ‬
                                      ‫עתה בני חורין‬
                                       Avadim hayinu, hayinu
                                    Ata b’nai chorin, b’nai chorin.
                                           Avadim hayinu
                                        Ata, ata, b’nai chorin
                                           Avadim hayinu
                                  Ata ata b’nai chorin, b’nai chorin.
                        We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt – now we are free.

The Building Song (Shirley Cohen)
                               Bang, bang, bang, hold your hammer low
                                 Bang, bang, bang, give a heavy blow
                                       For it’s work, work, work
                                      Every day and every night,
                                       For it’s work, work, work
                                  When it’s dark and when it’s light.
                                  Dig, dig, dig, get your shovel deep
                                Dig, dig, dig, there’s no time for sleep
                                       For it’s work, work, work
                                      Every day and every night
                                       For it’s work, work, work
                                  When it’s dark and when it’s light.

22                                   MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
Hymn of Promise
                        In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
                      In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
                    In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
                       Unrevealed until its season, something G-d alone can see.

                      There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
                    There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
                     From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
                      Unrevealed until its season, something G-d alone can see.

                         In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
                        In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
                          In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
                      Unrevealed until its season, something G-d alone can see.

V’nomar L’fanav

                     !‫ונאמר לפניו שירה חדשה. הללויה‬
                            V’nomar l’fanav shirah chadasha. Halleluyah!
                       Let us therefore sing before G-d a new song. Halleluyah!

Haleylu / Kol Ha’Nishama

                           !‫כל הנשמה תהלל יה, הללויה‬
                       Kol haneshama t’hallel Yah, Hallelu Yah (Psalm 150:6)
                             Let every living thing praise G-d, Hallelujah!

                                      MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                 23
Glory, Glory Halleluyah
                                         Glory glory, hallelujah,
                                   Since I lay (laid) my burden down.
                                         Glory glory, hallelujah,
                                   Since I lay (laid) my burden down.

                                      All my sickness will be over,
                                      When I lay my burden down.
                                      All my sickness will be over,
                                      When I lay my burden down.

                                      All my troubles will be over,
                                      When I lay my burden down.
                                      All my troubles will be over,
                                      When I lay my burden down.

                                    Lord, I’m feeling so much better,
                                   Since I lay (laid) my burden down.
                                    Lord, I’m feeling so much better,
                                   Since I lay (laid) my burden down.

Lo Alecha (Pirke Avot 2:21)

     .‫לא עליך המלאכה לגמור , ולא אתה בן חורין להבטל ממנה‬
                                       Lo alecha ham’lacha ligmor
                                  v’lo ata ben chorim l’hibatil mimena.
                    “You are not obligated to finish the work [of perfecting the world]
                              but neither are you allowed to desist from it.”

24                                     MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
Eliahu Ha’navi

                 .‫אליהו הנביא אליהו התשבי אליהו הגלעדי‬
                 .‫במהרה בימינו יבא אלינו עם משיח בן דיד‬
                                               Eliyahu hanavi
                                              Eliyahu hatishbi,
                                              Eliyahu hagil’adi.
                                     Bim’hera be’yamaynu yavoh eleinu,
                                          im mashiach ben David.
              May the Prophet Elijah come quickly in our day and bring the time of the Messiah.

Elijah Rock

                                          Elijah Rock shout shout
                                        Elijah Rock comin’ up Lord
                                          Elijah Rock shout shout
                                        Elijah Rock comin’ up Lord

                                         MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                        25
Addendum #2: Educate Yourself & Get Involved
The following organizations can help you to learn more about the issue of hunger as well as to get involved in the
fight to end it.

     The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)       jewishpublicaffairs.org

     MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger                 mazon.org

     USDA Center for Faith-Based and                    www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=FBCI
     Neighborhood Partnerships

     Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)             www.frac.org

     Community Food Security Coalition                  www.foodsecurity.org/

     Center on Budget and Policy Priorities             www.cbpp.org/pubs/fa.htm
     (Food Assistance Page)

     What is the Farm Bill?                             www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RS22131.pdf
     (Congressional Research Service report)

     Food Stamp Challenge                               www.foodstampchallenge.com

     Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program          feedingamerica.org/how-we-fight-hunger/programs-and-
     (SNAP)                                             services/public-assistance-programs/supplemental-nutrition-

     Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for         www.nwica.org/?q=aboutwic/f
     Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

26                                             MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
Addendum #3: Related Op-Eds/Letters


Food stamp fight
Food stamps are good for recipients and for retailers. So what’s the big deal?
February 06, 2012 | By Lisa Levenstein and Jennifer Mittelstadt

The nation’s food stamp program is an essential part of the American safety net. Why? Because people can’t be
productive — in school, at work or looking for work — if they are hungry and fearful about not having enough
food to feed their families.

The program serves 46 million people, almost as many people as Medicare. And that’s despite the fact that more
than one-third of those eligible for the benefit are not receiving it. If all those who qualified for food stamps enrolled
in the program, it would include 20% to 25% of Americans.

Not surprisingly, given the large numbers who participate, food stamp recipients are a diverse bunch, including
the elderly, the disabled, one-parent families, two-parent families, low-wage workers, students, soldiers and the

But if Republicans have their way, they will turn food stamp recipients into the new “welfare queens.”

The conservative Heritage Foundation has reprised the false charges once leveled at welfare, suggesting that food
stamps may make recipients “dependent on government.” And Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has
said that “the African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” (This,
despite the fact that only 22% of food stamp recipients are black.)

Republicans have proposed limiting lifetime use of food stamps, rolling back spending on the program and requiring
food stamp recipients to hold jobs. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum promised on the campaign trail to
roll back the food stamp program “just like I did with welfare” in the 1990s. Facing these attacks, the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (as food stamps are officially known) stands at a crossroads. Will the program go the
way of welfare, or will it follow a different path? If it is to survive, its supporters would do well to study history.

                                              MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                         27
Food stamps were first conceived during the Depression as part of a Keynesian approach to priming the economic
pump. And it was the grocery industry, not social welfare advocates, that pushed for them. The architects of the
program emphasized that it bolstered household consumption and shored up the retail economy.

Food stamps aimed to replace the government’s in-kind food distribution, which had forced the hungry to line
up for government cheese and excess produce, sometimes off the back of trucks. Grocers preferred to have people
standing in lines in their stores than standing in lines to take surplus food. Once the program was started, the
grocery industry advertised the stamps to homemakers as smart, money-saving shopping tools.

Today’s food stamp users are issued debit cards to swipe at the register just as other consumers do. And retailers
across the spectrum, from swanky Whole Foods to cost-conscious Sam’s Club, accept them, because it’s good
business. The program allows grocery sellers to keep customers who otherwise might not be able to afford today’s
rising food prices.

Food stamp redemptions are good for retailers. In 2009, they pumped $50 billion into the economy. And, according
to a 2008 USDA publication, the benefits extend beyond stores: “Every $5 in new food stamp benefits generates
a total of $9.20 in community spending,” and each “$1 billion of retail food demand by food stamp recipients
generates 3,300 farm jobs.”

History suggests that the pernicious anti-welfare rhetoric that has recently been attached to the program will prove
powerful and could threaten to discredit it.

With the increasing protest against economic inequality across the country, the 99% should defend food stamps as a
crucial pillar of the American promise, and as something good for the economy. In today’s hard times, with growing
poverty and rising food prices, there is widespread recognition that making ends meet is no small feat, even for the
middle class, and that food stamps are essential.

Conservatives are trying to smear Barack Obama by dubbing him the “food stamp president.” He should not run
from the label but embrace it, positioning himself as a defender of American retailers and a protector of the security
and integrity of all U.S. households.

Lisa Levenstein is an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the author of
“A Movement Without Marches: African American Women and the Politics of Poverty in Postwar Philadelphia.” Jennifer
Mittelstadt is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University and the author of “From Welfare to Workfare: The
Unintended Consequences of Liberal Reform, 1945-1965.”

28                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern circulates ‘Dear Colleague letter’; “Learn the Truth About Food Stamps”

Dear Colleague,

Over the past few weeks, the hungry in America have been thrust into the center of our political debate.
Unfortunately, the plight of those who struggle to put food on their tables is not being highlighted as a scourge
that needs to be ended but, rather, as a political weapon designed to score cheap political points in political arena.

It’s one thing to point out the fact that more people are relying on SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, but
it’s another to use this fact as a pejorative. The truth is SNAP is a safety-net program designed to prevent people
living in America from going without food during difficult economic times. Over the past few years, we have
suffered through the worst economy since the Great Depression. As a result, millions of people lost their jobs
and millions more saw their wages decrease. As these families saw their wages either decrease or simply go away,
they could either make the tough choice between paying their rents and utilities or putting food on their tables.
Fortunately for them, SNAP was created to prevent these families from having to make that choice.

Let’s be clear – no one wants to be poor. No one wants a handout. I am confident that the vast majority of people
on SNAP don’t want to be on SNAP. They’d rather provide for their families on their own, without any type of
assistance whether it’s from the federal government or from their church or other private community organization.

I encourage you to learn the truth about SNAP – that it’s a true safety net program that is income based; that
people become eligible for SNAP only if their incomes fall below a certain level and that no President can “put”
people on SNAP; and that SNAP is not only a anti-hunger program but actually stimulates the economy by a rate
of $1.87 for every SNAP dollar spent.

Every day this week, I will circulate fact sheets and news articles that lay out the facts about SNAP. These articles
and fact sheets explain what SNAP is and how it works. These articles also discuss why the claims about President
Obama being the food stamp president are false and misleading. The first is a simple primer on the program titled
“Policy Basics: Introduction to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)” http://www.cbpp.org/

I encourage you to read these articles and fact sheets. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions,
concerns or want more information about SNAP or other domestic anti-hunger programs.

                                          James P. McGovern
                                          Member of Congress

                                              MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                          29

Op-Ed: Take the Food Stamp Challenge

By Conrad Giles and Steve Gutow | October 27, 2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- We have decided to take a journey. We will take the Food Stamp Challenge
and live for one week on an average SNAP (food stamp) benefit of $31.50 per week. We are organizing
and encouraging others to join us.

Yet we hear one question again and again: Why?

We have heard the statistics. Poverty rates are climbing and millions of people are out of work, out
of food or without homes. To be more specific, 45.2 million Americans in July alone filed for SNAP
benefits; more than half were children. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported that more than
48 million Americans struggle to find adequate food and experience the bitter reality of hunger. Looking
at the devastating numbers alone can be dehumanizing.

We are taking the Challenge to experience and remind ourselves of what hunger feels like in our nation
of plenty.

Studies and reports describe the pervasiveness of hunger in America, but they don’t convey the humanity
of those caught in its wake. Hungry children suffer from impaired development and poor performance
in school. Tens of thousands of adults, possibly millions, endure illnesses caused by the vestiges of
hunger and malnutrition. Some who struggle with hunger resemble the iconic young man crouched
in the corner of a subway portal with a simple sign: “No food, no job, no home.” Others suffer from
hunger out of sight of the outside world. They are our neighbors and members of our own Jewish
communities who have fallen on hard times. They have been caught and protected by the most vital of
our national safety net -- one that provides food. The average SNAP benefit for these families, children
and seniors is just $31.50 per week per person -- roughly $1.50 per meal.

30                                          MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
Hunger is an urgent challenge for millions of Americans, and before Congress considers cutting SNAP
benefits, we are asking citizens across this nation to go further than knowing the statistics. We are
asking them to understand the realities of hunger. We urge you to join us on our journey. Visit http://
www.foodstampchallenge.com to learn more about the Food Stamp Challenge and register to join us.

The Food Stamp Challenge has attracted support from religious, political and community leaders from
across the country. But this is not just a Jewish effort. We are being joined by a number of leaders
from the wider faith community. They are bearing witness to the growing number of Americans
facing hunger in our towns and on our streets. Members of Congress and other statewide and local
civic leaders also will be taking the Challenge. This is a nationwide effort to raise awareness and break
through the sterile statistics.

As Jews, we have just finished the High Holy Days with the powerfully poetic closing of the gates of
Heaven and our fates sealed by God. But Yom Kippur is a beginning not an end. Our work to better
ourselves and our world is begun anew each year, and to prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually we
fast. We are warned by Isaiah on Yom Kippur, however, that the fast is not “a day for men to starve
their bodies” or “to lie in sackcloth and ashes.” Rather, the fast is about “sharing our bread with the
hungry and satisfying the famished creature.”

The Food Stamp Challenge, like the fast on Yom Kippur, is meant to teach us to feed hungry people
and to imbue ourselves with a more complete understanding of the quality of life of those in need.

Hunger in America is not just about numbers. It is living without security or energy. It is living on the
edge. These truths about hunger are not gleaned from statistics. And they are truths we need to share
with each other, and importantly, our leaders. We are living in a political world. We will need to put all
the pressure we can on members of Congress and the administration to show the “derech eretz” to do
the right thing.

(Dr. Conrad Giles and Rabbi Steve Gutow are the chair and president, respectively, of the Jewish
Council for Public Affairs.)

                                             MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                               31

Putting Jewish values on poor Americans’ dinner tables
Thursday, October 6, 2011 | by Abby J. Leibman

At Yom Kippur, through tefillah, teshuvah and tzedakah, we recommit ourselves to improving our
relationship with God and with our community. It is a time of reflection, repentance and responsibility.

So as Jews, what is our responsibility to the rising number of American families suffering from hunger and
poor nutrition?

This is a question that Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger asks not only during the High Holy Days, but
every day, as we seek to embody the Jewish ideals of tzedakah and tikkun olam.

The answer — or at least part of it — lies in the Farm Bill, which funds nutrition programs, farm subsidies
and emergency food programs. But in order for the Farm Bill to effectively address our nation’s hunger issues
and provide better access to healthier food, it needs both safeguards and changes. Only then will the Farm Bill
reflect the values we as Jews have chosen to uphold.

First, we want the Farm Bill to protect and increase funding for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (or SNAP, formerly called food stamps) to provide for the minimum nutrition needs for everyone who
qualifies. SNAP is the cornerstone of our nation’s efforts to reduce hunger and promote better nutrition for
families in need.

Forty-six million Americans, including one in four children, rely on SNAP benefits to eat. But current levels
of SNAP assistance are inadequate to support a consistently healthy diet. After the benefits run out — which
often happens after three weeks — families must either buy low-cost, highly processed and unhealthy food
with what little money they might have, or worse, they must skip meals altogether. What kind of choice is that?

That’s not all. Although the block grants recommended by the House appropriations bill were defeated in the
Senate, there still exists a threat of block granting in the Farm Bill. Without question, block granting SNAP
will threaten its very existence.

32                                           MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
In a block grant system, states would receive a fixed amount of federal funding for nutrition programs. But once
the money reaches a state’s coffers, it can spend that money in any way it sees fit, even for programs unrelated
to nutrition. Without a guarantee that SNAP provide adequate resources for families to meet their most basic
needs and put healthy food on the table, the Farm Bill would abandon those who depend on food assistance for
survival — flouting our Jewish ideals in the process.

Second, we believe there is a pressing need to create incentives for small farmers to make their products more
accessible to all Americans. The Farm Bill’s provisions include subsidies for agricultural commodities such as
corn and soybeans, virtually excluding farms that grow less-industrialized fruits and vegetables for consumers.
Subsidies for smaller farms could help reduce the cost of produce at neighborhood grocery stores — an
improvement that would help all families stretch their food dollar to purchase more nutritious food.

Third, we believe that food distributed through the Emergency Food Assistance Program — often known as the
Farm Bill’s “surplus” food program — should be more nutritious, as well. Much of the TEFAP menu consists
of canned fruits and vegetables, white rice, high-sodium soups and meats that tend to be high in saturated fat.
What does it say about our priorities as a nation when we’re not giving the poor and the elderly better food
options, and in the process, exacerbating long-term health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity
that are often caused by a poor diet?

We want to see a much greater emphasis on foods that contain less processed sugar, less sodium, less saturated
fat, and which contain more whole grains and fiber. We need not sacrifice health and well-being in order to
provide sustenance to those in need, and we cannot heal the world until we heal ourselves.

A Jewish response to the Farm Bill requires not just education on each of these important issues, but engagement
as well. So today I challenge you to help Mazon educate members of Congress, especially members of the House
and Senate Agriculture Committees, about the importance of these protections and changes to the Farm Bill.

Urge them to be proactive about ensuring that families in need can put healthy, nutritious food on their tables
every day. Then, and only then, can we declare that the Farm Bill manifests Jewish values and our commitment
to true tzedakah.

Abby J. Leibman is president and CEO of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

                                             MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                                     33

Jews vs. The Farm Bill
Friday, January 20, 2012 | By Leah Kaplan Robins

The issue inspiring the latest Jewish political movement won’t surprise readers of this blog—but it might
cause some head scratching among the rest of the Jewish community. It isn’t Israel or the 99%. Nope, it’s…
the U.S. Farm Bill!

While it may seem like an unlikely target for a swell of Jewish activism, the Farm Bill—which dictates U.S.
law on everything from agriculture to food stamps to biofuels—is packed with policies that go against the
grain of Jewish ethics. The bill is up for debate and reauthorization this year, and six Jewish organizations
are seizing the opportunity to call for reforms that they feel will go a long way toward achieving their Torah-
inspired visions of food justice. Even though they’re each tackling a different aspect of the bill, they’ve
recently joined forces to maximize their power and mobilize their constituents toward a common goal.

The “Jewish Working Group for a Just Farm Bill”— comprised of American Jewish World Service,
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, Hazon, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Mazon and the
Union for Reform Judaism—has collected nearly 15,000 signatures so far on its Jewish Petition for a Just
Farm Bill, which presents a Jewish voice in Congress’s upcoming ‘food fight’:

             “The Farm Bill debate provides us with the opportunity to build a better food system.
             I want American food and agricultural policies to reflect my Jewish values.
             I urge you to enact policies that pursue long-term approaches to eradicating hunger by
             protecting the most vulnerable, promoting sustainable land use and investing in resilient
             local food systems.”

Behind this lofty language, each organization is fired up by a specific issue that it’ll be pushing on the Hill
when hearings begin in February, from reforming food aid to increasing food stamp benefits to stopping
industrial farming practices that are polluting the earth.

34                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
Here’s what they have to say:

American Jewish World Service:
         AJWS seeks to reform the U.S. food aid system so that it’s not just a band-aid based
         on shipping our food abroad, but, instead, a sustainable force for food security in the
         developing world. As the largest donor of international food aid, the U.S. gives tzedakah
         in volume, but fails to meet Maimonides’ ideal of creating self sufficiency. A more flexible
         system that includes buying from local farmers and using cash and vouchers to support
         local economies would reduce hunger in fragile regions and better reflect our values and
         shared humanity.

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life:
         We seek increased funding for agricultural programs that promote renewable energy,
         energy efficiency, water rights, food security and sustainable development. As a Jewish
         environmental organization, we care deeply about protecting God’s Creation. And the
         harmful effects of climate change particularly burden those in developing countries, who
         have often contributed the least to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

         As a Jewish people, we have been thinking about what is kosher—literally, “fit”—for us to
         eat for 3,000 years. As the Farm Bill hearings approach, we are drawing on our traditions
         of eating mindfully and pursing justice as we make our voices heard in support of
         sustainable farm and food initiatives. Together we can create a healthier, more sustainable
         food system for all.

Jewish Council for Public Affairs:
         JCPA calls upon Congress to reject attacks on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
         Program (SNAP), whose funding has been in jeopardy in recent years, and instead find
         ways to expand access to this effective and critical human needs program. As our rabbis
         have taught: ‘If all the other possible troubles were assembled on one side and poverty
         on the other, poverty would outweigh them all’ (Midrash on Exodus). We have an
         opportunity to tip the balance and address hunger and poverty on a large scale through
         the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

                                            MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012                           35
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger:
         We believe that the Farm Bill must reflect the Jewish ideals of tzedakah and tikkun
         olam. To do so, it must (1) protect and increase funding for SNAP, (2) create
         incentives for small-scale farmers to make their products more accessible to all
         Americans, and (3) improve the nutritional quality of the food distributed through
         The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

Union for Reform Judaism:
       We call for a just Farm Bill that supports robust nutrition programs to aid the millions of
       Americans confronting hunger, while ensuring funding for vital conservation programs
       that protect our air, land and water for future generations. Jewish tradition demands we
       raise our voice on this critical legislation, as we read in Leviticus 23:22: ‘…when you
       reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or
       gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger.’

Wherever your passions lie, you can learn more about how to add your voice to this campaign by attending
The Farm Bill and You, an event on January 30th in New York City hosted by Pursue: Action for a Just World
and co-sponsored by AJWS Global Circle, Food & Water Watch, Hazon and Jewish Farm School. The Jewish
Farm Bill reformers need your help to convince Congress that food justice is a Jewish issue!

Leah Kaplan Robins is Senior Writer and Editor at American Jewish World Service.

36                                           MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder 5772/2012
      Addendum #4: A Jewish
      Response to the Farm  A Jewish Response
      Bill Petition         to the Farm Bill
      Dear Members of Congress,

      Our Jewish texts and teachings obligate us to challenge the injustice of hunger, champion the right to food and promote
      stewardship of the land. Our nation’s food and agricultural policies – many contained in the U.S. Farm Bill – have a profound
      impact on countless lives in the U.S. and across the globe.

      The Farm Bill debate provides us with the opportunity to build a better food system. I urge you to enact policies that pursue
      long-term approaches to eradicating hunger by protecting the most vulnerable, promoting sustainable land use and
      investing in resilient local food systems.


        Name                          Address                                                              Email















 This petition effort is a partnership between MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs,
American Jewish World Service, Hazon, the Religious Action Center, and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to
preventing and alleviating hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds. Founded in
1985, MAZON was the first national organization to rally the American Jewish community
around the issue of hunger, and remains the only national Jewish organization dedicated
exclusively to that same cause.

MAZON practices and promotes a holistic approach to ending hunger by employing three
interrelated strategies: advocacy & education, partnership grants and strategic initiatives.

The mission of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is to serve as the representative
voice of the organized American Jewish community in addressing the principal mandate of
the Jewish community relations field, expressed in three interrelated goals:

1.   To safeguard the rights of Jews here and around the world;
2.   To dedicate ourselves to the safety and security of the state of Israel;
3.   To protect, preserve and promote a just American society, one that is democratic and
     pluralistic, one that furthers harmonious interreligious, interethnic, interracial and
     other intergroup relations.

The JCPA’s Confronting Poverty campaign – of which the Hunger Seder mobilization is a
key program – engages the Jewish community in meaningful anti-poverty advocacy, outreach,
and activism against a backdrop of profound and increasing need. The Confronting Poverty
campaign has been successful in raising poverty as a priority on the Jewish communal agenda
by mobilizing activists and community organizations to combat poverty in a coordinated,
sustained, and effective way.

                         2012 5772


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