Illuminated Haggadah Exhibit - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Illuminated Haggadah Exhibit

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Welcome to an online exhibit of illuminations from four beautiful manuscript Haggadot. They are part of the extensive collection of manuscript and printed Haggadah editions from Europe, Asia, and the Americas housed at the Klau Library, Cincinnati.

Please feel free to download these images and to use them as teaching aids or as part of your Passover celebration. Please note, these images may be quite large, and may take several minutes to download

The Haggadah is a compilation of excerpts from the Bible and Rabbinic literature and includes prayers and hymns. In celebration of the Exodus from Egypt, it is recited at the Seder service on the eve of Passover. The text is often accompanied by art work depicting or interpreting the Passover story and its message of freedom.

On display here are images from:

First Cincinnati Haggadah

First Cincinnati Haggadah.
Ms. 444

This magnificently illuminated work on parchment was produced in Germany in the late 15th century by Meir Jaffe ha-sofer, a copyist, illuminator and renowned leather worker. 
A CD of this Haggadah is also available.


 Second Cincinnati Haggadah

Second Cincinnati Haggadah.
Ms. 444.1

This "sister" to the Van Geldern Haggadah was produced by Moses Loeb ben Wolf from Trebisch, Moravia, in 1716/17. The miniatures are in oil on parchment and are based on the engravings found in the printed Amsterdam Haggadah of 1712.


Haggadah. Hamburg

Haggadah. Hamburg.
Ms. 445

This illuminated work on parchment was produced by Jankew Sofer of Berlin at Hamburg/Altona in 1740/41. It was renovated by Israel Kornik of Dessau in 1841. Its oil miniatures also follow the illustrations found in the Amsterdam Haggadah of 1712, but here utilize a folk-art style found in several haggadot printed in Germany during the early 18th century.



Haggadah. Conegliano


Haggadah. Conegliano. 
Ms. 450

This Italian illuminated work on paper was written and richly illuminated by Jacob ben Joseph Conegliano in 1742/43. The miniatures follow the illustrations found in the printed Venice (1609), Prague (1526), and Mantua (1560) haggadot. On the title-page is the coat-of-arms of the Conegliano family.


Enter the Illuminated Haggadah Exhibit at Klau Library

If you have any further questions about finding information on this, or any other topic, ask your local HUC-JIR librarian or email us using the form on the campus library homepage.