The Fifth Question:
Passover is a special time when we gather with family and friends to retell the story of our people’s freedom from bondage. We read from a prayer book, perform rituals that are thousands of years old, and eat A LOT of delicious and symbolic foods. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have that luxury.
Hunger in America is at an epidemic level. 50 million Americans – nearly 1 in 6 – struggle to put enough nutritious food on the table every day. One out of every five Israelis can’t be sure when or if they’ll have their next meal. These statistics are tragic, and they inspire our daily work. But at Passover, when it can seem as though the primary purpose of the Seder is to eat (and eat and eat), we feel the discomfort a bit more keenly.
We set the stage early in the Seder, saying, “All who are hungry, let them enter and eat.” We move ceremoniously through the haggadah, reminding ourselves that we once were slaves in Egypt and explaining the meaning of each bite we eat. But millions of Americans and Israelis have only a lack of food, which has a very different meaning – it is a reminder that they are still enslaved.
This year, please join us as we again ask The Fifth Question: Why on this night are millions of people still going hungry?
Incorporate The Fifth Question into your Passover Seder
- After the youngest person reads the four questions from the Haggadah, ask The Fifth Question and reflect as a group upon the crisis of hunger, why it persists and what you individually and collectively could do to end it.
Raise awareness about hunger in your community
- Contact your elected officials to advocate on behalf of those who so desperately need our help.
- Organize a campaign in your community to raise awareness about hunger.
Share your blessings
- Donate to MAZON. Give as much as you can or what you would have spent feeding one more person at your Seder table.
- After your Seder, tell your story to the extended MAZON family. Send us an email or post on our facebook page to tell us about your discussion of The Fifth Question or your ideas for fighting hunger. Your words might inspire others to take action and fight hunger themselves!
- Full-page ad (pdf-horizontal or vertical) (jpg-horizontal or vertical)
- Half-page ad (pdf or jpg)
- Quarter-page ad (pdf-horizontal or vertical) (jpg-horizontal or vertical)
- Web Version (jpg)
- Rhonda’s Story from THE NEW FACE OF HUNGER (pdf)
- John’s Story from THE NEW FACE OF HUNGER (pdf)
- Quick Facts About Hunger in America (pdf)
- 8 Myths About Hunger in America (pdf)
- Hunger and Poverty Levels – national and state-by-state via Food Research and Action Center
Dozens of cities and thousands of individuals across the United States host Hunger Seders to ensure no person in America goes hungry. Hunger Seder participants observe the ancient traditions of Pesach (Passover) in the context of a stark reality: that too many of our fellow Americans are still going hungry. The Seder serves a vital purpose and presents a call to action for the American Jewish community to end hunger America.
Hunger Seder Website | Haggadah | The Hunger Seder video from Jewish Federation of Cleveland