February 6, 2024

Weitzman Museum’s Annual “Freedom Seder Revisited” is Inspired by 1969 Freedom Seder, Originally Held on the First Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (February 6, 2024) – The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History’s 2024 Passover-inspired Freedom Seder Revisited event – which brings together people of all faiths, races, and cultures for a night of storytelling, performances, and conversations about freedom –  will feature the voices of Philadelphians impacted by the criminal justice system.

At this year’s Freedom Seder Revisited on Sunday, April 14 at The Weitzman, Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice program participants will take the stage to tell their stories. In the weeks leading up to the event, The Weitzman, Mural Arts, and First Person Arts will lead storytelling workshops with Restorative Justice participants, who include returning citizens and community members.

The evening will feature the popular and high-energy band Snacktime Philly. Tickets are now available.

“With each year, our Freedom Seder Revisited evolves into an even more beautiful and relevant way to mark Passover,” says Dan Samuels, Director of Public Programs, The Weitzman. “Though Passover took place millennia ago and the Civil Rights movement decades ago, the stories and themes from both are as relevant as ever. We are excited to lift up the work of Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice program, and the impact it has on people and communities here in Philadelphia.”

The Weitzman plans to set empty places at the tables for the hostages held in Gaza on (what may be) their 190th day of captivity.

“The Israeli hostages in Gaza remain top of mind for us here at the Weitzman and across our community. We hope for a safe return home so they may spend the Passover holiday in freedom with their families,” Samuels continues.

“This collaboration for Freedom Seder Revisited underscores our dedication to using art as a medium for social change, bringing to light the powerful narratives of those impacted by the criminal justice system,” says Jane Golden, Executive Director, Mural Arts Philadelphia. “It’s an honor for Mural Arts to contribute to this profound celebration of freedom and community, fostering dialogue and understanding across diverse backgrounds. 


“Our continued collaboration with The Weitzman reflects our core belief that everyone has a story to tell,” says Jamie J Brunson, Executive Director, First Person Arts. “This partnership allows us to uplift the voices of Philadelphians impacted by the criminal justice system through the art of storytelling.”

History of Freedom Seder

“Freedom Seder Revisited” is inspired by the 1969 Freedom Seder — where interfaith clergy held a Passover seder with 800 people of all backgrounds at a Black-led church in Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. They connected the ancient story of persecution to the Civil Rights Movement.

The Weitzman has hosted this annual signature event since 2013. It includes symbolic Passover seder foods and wine, served at communal round tables in the Museum’s 5th-floor ballroom overlooking Independence Mall.

Instead of a traditional seder, the retelling of the Exodus story will be substituted with an artfully curated lineup of storytellers, speakers, and songsters whose presentations will reflect Passover themes such as “narrows to the expanse,” “immigration and exodus,” “freedom,” and “welcoming the stranger.”

View a highlights reel from past events and the full recording of last year’s event.

This event is developed collaboratively with partner organizations Mural Arts Philadelphia and First Person Arts.

Learn more.

High-Resolution Photos from 2023

Established in 1976, and situated on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History is the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience. The Weitzman presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Standing as a joyful bulwark against antisemitism, bigotry, and hate, The Weitzman serves to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and to inspire in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire.



Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. Now celebrating its 40th Anniversary with the theme Roots & Reimagination, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating over 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to mutual understanding through projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world and programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public arts preservation. Popular mural tours offer a firsthand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts’ iconic and unparalleled collection, earning Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the “Mural Capital of the World.” For more information, call 215-685-0750 or visit  



First Person Arts is Philly’s premiere storytelling arts nonprofit. We believe that everyone has a story to tell and that the art of storytelling has the power to change lives. Since 2001, we have helped ordinary Philadelphians become storytelling artists who transform the drama of their real lives into memoir and documentary art. We offer programming that serves the diverse communities that call the greater Philadelphia area home including monthly StorySlam storytelling competitions, Applied Storytelling educational programs, a podcast drawn from our digital archive of more than 10,000 story files, and a gun violence intervention program with the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual DisAbility Services Engaging Males of Color program. Our annual First Person Arts Festival brings all these audiences and communities together as their stories connect us to each other and the world.

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