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Josh Shapiro offers inside look at Passover in the governor’s mansion

Shapiro was joined in the kitchen by Michael Solomonov, the Israeli chef and popular Philadelphia restaurateur

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro on Wednesday published a lengthy video on social media taking viewers behind the scenes of Passover food preparations in the kosher kitchen he maintains in the governor’s mansion. He also shared his experience of the first Seder he hosted at the official residence.

Shapiro proudly embraced his Jewish faith during the campaign last year and has continued to do so since he was sworn in as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor and third Jew in this position.

The 14-minute video posted on his official Twitter account features Shapiro, his wife Lori and their son Max with award-winning Israel chef Michael Solomonov, the co-owner of several Philadelphia restaurants, preparing broiled seasoned salmon cubes drizzled with tahini sauce. The Shapiros ate the salmon dish on a piece of matzo. 

At one point, while preparing the dessert of chocolate cake, Shapiro described his love-hate relationship with chocolate-coated marshmallows. “Not good, but I feel like I haven’t fulfilled my Passover duty without eating those,” he said. 

“It’s an unbelievable privilege,” Shapiro told Solomonov about celebrating Jewish holidays at the mansion. “To be able to express your faith openly, whatever your faith is, in a house like this as the governor of the Commonwealth, with the First Lady and first family, it is really incredibly special.”

He described the Seder as “so haimish,” using a Yiddish term for homey, with the participation of members of the Harrisburg Jewish community and of Christian and Muslim faiths. “It was really awesome,” he said. 

 Shapiro said that the non-Jewish guests shared with him their stories of Easter brunch and Iftar meals and how important faith is for them. 

“So for us to be able to have our faith inspire others to share their family stories, it’s really, really special,” he said. 

Ahead of Passover, Shapiro hosted his first annual egg hunt event at the residence and shared with the crowd that he grew up in a home where kids this time of year searched for the “afikoman,” a piece of matzo hidden away by the head of the family at the Seder, rather than Easter eggs.

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