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December 04, 2008


sandy sutain

What kind of paper is the Haggadah written on? Will it have the essay by Cecil Roth in its introduction? or any introduction or explanation?
How true are the colors to the original?

Steve Leveen

Dear Sandy,

You asked about the paper that our facsimile is printed on--it's a Finnish art paper that's acid-free, chlorine-free and pH neutral, for archival quality. It's also heavier than even the paper used on most illustrated hardcovers and is considered best of class. I think the proof is in the touch--like a smooth marble. Our graphic designers loved it. And it makes the reproduction quality outstanding.

The Sarajevo Museum supervised the scans and then approved them to ensure a close color match to the original.

The essay by Cecil Roth, who is the former editor of the Encyclopedia Judaica, is one of two introductory pieces that explain the history, art and importance of the Sarajevo Haggadah. They're contained in a separate, companion book that fits inside the slipcase, as we wanted the facsimile of the haggadah itself to be as close to the original as possible.

The other introductory piece is by Geraldine Brooks (and had me in tears by the end of it). She's written a novel about the Sarajevo Haggadah called "People of the Book."

I hope this helps.


Catherine Berger

Thank you Steve and Peter! My grandfather was deported to Belzec in 1942 and to have something like this available, well it is truly priceless. History lives through the books that touch our lives and the lives that touch our books.

Rabbi Deborah Zecher

How wonderful that you are making a treasure such as this Haggadah available. I will be eager to see it for myself.

I do wish, however, that in your description, you had not characterized the book as "opening from the back." It is not the back of the book, it is the front of the book, as Hebrew is read. You accurately describe the Hebrew as reading from right to left; why not just say that the book opens from right to left as well as the Hebrew reading from right to left. A small point but in choosing to make this Jewish text available to the general public, it's good to be as accurate as possible.

I am a long-time Levenger's customer and feel pleased by your decision to include the publication of this and other important volumes. Bravo!

Steve Leveen

Dear Rabbi Zecher,

Thank you so much for your guidance on how we should describe the way the book opens. We will make that correction--many thanks.

We're delighted that you are pleased we published it. We agree--it's a treasure.

All best,


Robbin Wignall

Do you think this would be an appropriate gift for a Bat Mitzvah?

Steve Leveen

Dear Robbin,

You asked if this would be an appropriate gift for a Bat Mitzvah. We think it would be a wonderful present, one that the recipient would cherish. I imagine it would be quite an unforgettable way to mark this rite of passage.



Amazing work of art! We bought our copy months ago and planning to go on a journey to see it! We found the company that only does Haggadah tours www.sarajevohaggadahjourney.com and they will create a custom tour of the Jewish heritage of the Balkans! I am quite interested to see the oldest Sephardi synagogues of Dubrovnik and Split!

Barbara Weeks

I just finished Geraldine Brooks' novel "People of the Book", a fictional account of the travels of the Sarajevo Haggadah. Actually, I read it twice, once from front to back and then from back to front.To get this e-mail made my heart skip a beat!

The books you choose to publish are gems. Thank you.

Rick Sorg

Is the museum receiving any of the proceeds from the sale of this Haggadah? Thanks.

Mim Harrison

Dear Mr. Sorg,

Our edition of the Sarajevo Haggadah does carry a monetary benefit for the Sarajevo Museum. Thanks for asking!



Michael Ozaki MD

For a passover gift I am giving to four friends a copy of the Sarajevo Haggadah. While I am not Jewish, I am profoundly moved by the power of the history of the Haggadah. Can you tell me of the significance of the number of copies you are printing? I am sure the number 2249 has a meaning.

Mim Harrison

Dear Dr. Ozaki,

We are in awe of your note! We're so glad the Sarajevo Haggadah resonated so strongly with you--we share your reverence for its history.

As for the number of copies--we were looking for the right balance, a quantity thta would allow customers the opportunity to purchase this extraordinary artifact, but that at the same time would make ownership of this book something special. This number seemed right to us. Like the Sarajevo Haggadah itself, it's unusual.

We hope your friends will treasure their copies.

All best, and many thanks,


tim atherton

I too just read Geraldine Brooks' novel "People of the Book" - picked it up on vacation in Mexico in a small hotel from one of those shelves of "leave one-take one" paperbacks.

Fascinating (if a little fanciful in places - and of course, fictional). But equally fascinating to come across your facsimile today.

(And as an archivist, I find its story intriguing - as well as the story of how some will try to destroy a culture and its memory by destroying books, archives and libraries. They know how powerful such records are...)

paul smith

the sarajevo haggadah reminds me of the need for keeping and working with a 3 hundred year old bible i recently inherited.before deciding what to do with it i would like to have copies for my children and anyone else interested in its provenance and influence on the people who aquired and used it for three centuries.can you suggest suitable storage and copying supplies?

Alex Carmel

Dear Mim,

I have just ordered the Sarajevo Haggadah, very much looking forward to receive it soon. Could you please let me know - are the 2,249 copies numbered ? Thank you !


Mim Harrison

Dear Alex,

Yes indeed, the copies are numbered. I'm delighted to hear you're about to own one. I hope you enjoy it.



I just called your company to see about ordering a copy - it seems like it's out of print! Please can you consider issuing a reprint? Or can you direct me to where I can find one?


mim harrison

Dear LE,

The Overlook Press is offering an edition of the Sarajevo Haggadah. Here's the link for you:

Mim Harrison, Editor
Levenger Press

Les Bergen

Aside from cover color, what is difference between 2008 Levinger edition and 2011 Overlook edition? Paper quality, reproduction quality, commentaries?

Mim Harrison

Dear Les,

Thanks for getting in touch with us. The Overlook Press edition does, as you've said, feature a different cover from the one on Levenger Press. The interior is the same. The other difference is that the Levenger Press edition is out of print--so we're glad to see that customers can still buy it through Overlook Press.

Mim Harrison
Founding Editor, Levenger Press

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