12 Feb, 2020 | Events, Latest, Women's Rights

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René Cassin is delighted to invite you to join us for an evening of discussion, sisterhood and solidarity in celebration of International Women’s Day.

The Passover story, recounted at the Seder table, teaches us the power women have to change the world. It is written in the Talmud, “in the merit of righteous women, the Jews were redeemed from Egypt.”

There were the midwives, Shifra and Pu’ah, and Moses’ mother, Yocheved, all three chose to defy Pharaoh’s command to kill all Israelite baby boys. There was Moses’ sister, Miriam, who prophesised that Moses would liberate the Israelites, even after her father told her the prophecy would die with her brother in the River Nile, Miriam never gave up on her prophecy, or her brother, she followed him down the Nile, ensuring he reached safety. Finally, there’s Pharaoh’s daughter, Batya, who chose to rescue Moses from the River Nile despite knowing he was an Israelite, despite warnings from her handmaidens, and defying the orders of her father. These righteous women all played vital roles in the Israelites liberation from slavery.

By sharing stories of brave and courageous women, including those in the Passover narrative, we hope to inspire others to continue in their tradition.

Our Seder will bring together pioneering women from the Jewish community to educate, inspire and empower.

Our speakers will include: Rabbi Deborah Khan-Harris, one of the first women to lead a mainstream rabbinic seminary; Dr. Agnes Grunwald-Spier, survivor of the Budapest Ghetto and renowned Holocaust educator and story-teller; Laura Marks, founder of Mitzvah Day and co-founder of the Jewish Muslim Women’s Network, Nisa-Nashim; Sally Berkovic, author and academic.

The Seder will take place on the evening of Thursday 12th March at the Jewish Vegetarian Society, in London.

Tickets are £20 each and include a vegan meal.

Please note this event is women only. Women’s Seders seek to centre women in the Passover narrative and have traditionally been led by women, for women. We wish to honour this tradition. Our Women’s Seder is open to all women, regardless of race, sexuality, class, or otherwise.

Tickets are available via Eventbrite:

#ReneCassinIWD2020 #NeverthelessShePersisted #NeverthelessWePersist


Rabbi Deborah Kahn-Harris

Rabbi Deborah Kahn-Harris is one of the first woman rabbis to lead a mainstream rabbinic seminary, as Principal of Leo Baek College. She is dedicated to Jewish learning and education, completing a PhD in Bible Studies, teaching Bible and Jewish Studies at SOAS university from 2007-2009.

Laura Marks

Laura Marks is the founder of Mitzvah day, an international charity which holds faith-based social action at the heart of its values. She was elected Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and has later gone on to become Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) in 2016. Laura works as an advisor to the Muslim-led day of social action, Sadaqa Day and co-founded the Jewish Muslim Women’s Network, Nisa-Nashim, earning herself an OBE for her work building interfaith relationships.

Dr. Agnes Grunwald-Spier

Dr. Agnes Grunwald-Spier is a survivor of the Budapest Ghetto, from where she was liberated with her mother in January 1945. Whilst she grew up with the knowledge of her survival, her dedication to Holocaust education was largely inspired by her sons with whom she wanted to be able to discuss it. Since then, Agnes has published three books on the Holocaust, including, ‘Women’s Experience in the Holocaust’, ‘The Other Schindlers’ and ‘Who Betrayed the Jews?’. Agnes was honoured as an ‘inspirational woman’ by the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT), has received an MBE for her work as a founder trustee of HMDT and ‘services to Holocaust awareness’. She was a member of the Board of Deputies for 15 years and has received two Honorary Doctorates for her work on the Holocaust in 2018.

Sally Berkovic

Sally Berkovic is a freelance writer, focusing on social issues and contemporary Jewish life. Her Book, Under My Hat (shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly Prize), merges sociology, history, memoir and perceptive observations on Orthodoxy and modern life.

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