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The Ya’akov Boussidan Haggadah



The Haggadah has a history of not only being one of the most produced Jewish books (with some estimates citing more than 5,000 published versions), but one of the most beautifully decorated as well. The tradition of artfully produced Haggadot dates back to the medieval era (13th century) when such Haggadot as the Golden Haggadah and the fascinating Birds’ Head Haggadah. This tradition has continued into even recent years with the emergence of artist’s books Haggadot. The Shaar Hashomayim Museum and Archives is proud to have one such Haggadah in our collection: the Ya’akov Boussidan Haggadah.


Ya’akov Boussidan is an Israeli artist who, born in Port Said, Egypt, came to Israel with his family in 1949 as a child. His works have been acquired by such places The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. 


Among the many works Boussidan has produced, in the 1970s he undertook a project to create his own Haggadah. These Haggadot took several years to make in Boussidan’s London-based studio and include 30 colour etchings. An interesting aspect of Boussidan’s Haggadah is the incorporation of the story of creation from Bereishit



The Haggadah was finally finished in 1975 and it is a breathtaking work of art. There are merely 60 copies in the whole world. As noted in the etchings in the book, the copy in the Shaar’s museum collection is number 10, and was gifted in 1981 by Dr. and Mrs. William Cohen.



If you are interested in seeing the Haggadah in person, please reach out to to make an appointment. 


Further Reading:

  1. Introduction to Ya’akov Boussidan’s Haggadah by Benjamin Tammuz
  2. Ya’akov Boussidan’s Biography
Sunday, July 14, 2024 8 Tammuz 5784