Real life tradition and television nostalgia collide in a collaboration between the venerable Maxwell House Haggadah and the hit Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
The coffee company is offering a limited edition version of its Haggadah featuring illustrations and other shtick based on the show about an aspiring Jewish comedian and her extended family of Jewish relatives in late 1950s New York.
The “Maisel” Haggadah is a throwback to an earlier edition of the Haggadah, which the company has been offering as a holiday giveaway since 1932. Illustrations of Midge Maisel and other characters are scattered throughout the new version, which also has handwritten notations by Rachel Brosnahan’s character as well as faux wine stains.
The limited-run Haggadahs are available to those who order Maxwell House coffee via Amazon.com. Passover begins on the evening of April 19. The traditional prayers and rituals celebrated during the Passover Seder on the first night are contained within the Haggadah, a text which dates back over 1,500 years.
“There is an organic link between the Maxwell House and ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ brands and we quickly aligned on the idea of creating Midge’s Haggadah – a combination of the 1958 classic version and Midge’s amazing personality,” Naor Danieli, brand manager for Maxwell House, said in a statement.
In early 20th-century America Jewish stores mistakenly classified coffee beans as legumes, making them forbidden during Passover according to Ashkenazi tradition.
In 1923, an advertising manager for the Forverts, Joseph Jacobs, not to be confused with Rabbi Jacob Joseph, ran an ad assuring readers that Maxwell House coffee was kosher for Passover. In 1932, he went a step further, convincing the company to publish the now-iconic Haggadah to give away with cans of coffee and lock in the loyalty of Jewish consumers.
The coffee company said in a statement that over the past 80 years it has distributed over 50 million copies of its Passover Haggadah.
“It has become the most widely used Haggadah in the world, providing familiarity and continuity to generations of Jewish families,” the statement said.