Passover Haggadah. 1933.

Front cover of Hagadah. It has black text on a greenish paper.

Passover Haggadah. 1933. Maxwell House Coffee, New York. BM674. 63 .M38 1933.
Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, Special & Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.

The Maxwell House Haggadah came into existence thanks to the ingenuity of advertising executive Joseph Jacobs. Jacobs inspired the Maxwell House Coffee company to launch a marketing campaign aimed at Jewish consumers. During Passover, Jewish stores would stop selling coffee on the assumption that coffee beans were a legume and therefore a forbidden Passover food. Jacobs gained the help of a rabbi from New York’s lower eastside to help spread the word that coffee beans were a fruit not a legume, and customers of Maxwell House Coffee were rewarded with a complimentary copy of the company’s Haggadah. The Haggadah incorporated the iconography of the Amsterdam Haggadah (1695) and established a simple Hebrew and English layout. This now iconic work has been issued every year, apart from the period during WWII when its printing was temporarily suspended.

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