Alex's Haggadah

In August of 1973, the Singer family arrived in Jerusalem - Suzanne and Max with sons Saul, 12; Alex soon to be 11; Daniel almost 8 and Benjy, 6. Although only expecting to be in Israel for one year (one became four years) the boys entered regular public schools, knowing very little Hebrew.

The following spring Alex and his family participated in Mike and Hannah Bargteil's seder and saw the Bargteil's collection of haggadot. Alex's route home from school passed the Bargteil's home and at some point, no one remembers exactly when, Alex decided to make a haggadah to add to Mike's collection. Although he had just learned Hebrew, he wrote every word of the haggadah in Hebrew. The text pages all had his small decorations and drawings, but, in addition, he made full page color drawings of events from the Exodus account, each of which he gave a title and signed with his name. Alex bound the haggadah in red burlap, sewed it together by hand, wrote on the inside cover, "Conceived and Executed by Alex Singer 1975," and gave it to Mike.

Years passed and Mike and Hannah died. After almost 30 years, Mike and Hannah's granddaughter, Dee, phoned Sue and Max at home in Jerusalem just before the seder to tell them that she had found Alex"s haggadah while going through her grandfather's collection. So that day, the haggadah that had been forgotten and "lost" for so many years returned to the Singer table in time for seder. Since then, a full-size facsimile has been made and the fragile original is protected.

Now every page Alex wrote and illustrated can be seen here, the work of a 12-year-old boy who had barely learned Hebrew when he made it.