Two Mississippi Museums to Host Passover Freedom Seder April 11

March 11, 2024

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) and the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) will hold the Mississippi Freedom Seder on Thursday, April 11, at 6 p.m. in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Two Mississippi Museums.

Inspired by the 1969 Freedom Seder in Washington DC, where hundreds of people of all backgrounds gathered to explore and celebrate freedom in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, this event invites participants to the Passover table for an evening of commemoration, stories, and community.  

“We are pleased to co-host the third Mississippi Freedom Seder with our community partners,” said Katie Blount, MDAH director.  “This year marks the 60th anniversary of Freedom Summer, so we remember the courage of visiting Freedom Summer volunteers in 1964, many of whom were Jewish, who joined with Mississippians to fight for racial equality.”   

“Our Mississippi Freedom Seder in 2023 brought our communities together for conversation and reflection,” said Michele Schipper, CEO of the ISJL. “We are excited to co-host this event again and tell these Mississippi stories.”

This participatory program will include a Passover meal. All are welcome and invited to join us in honoring this historic tradition.  

Rabbi Matt Dreffin from T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights will lead the program, which also includes music from Jayla Lomax and stories from Freedom Summer.

Passover is an eight-day Jewish holiday, referred to as the “festival of freedom.” Passover celebrates the liberation of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. The traditional meal, where the story of Passover is shared along with rituals, readings, songs, and food, is called a Seder. Seders celebrate freedom from bondage and freedom from oppression, providing a shared communal celebration of freedom and friendship for all.   

At the first Freedom Seder, held on April 4, 1969, more than 800 people gathered in a church in Washington, DC, to commemorate the first anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. Using the words of the traditional Passover Seder, calling for justice, peace, and liberation, the 1969 Freedom Seder strengthened Black and Jewish community relations and established a touchstone for contemporary Seders.  

The Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum are in downtown Jackson at 222 North Street. Free parking can be found alongside North Street or in the Two Mississippi Museum’s visitors’ garage on Jefferson Street.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, and are available for purchase here.  For more information, call 601-576-6800, email, or visit