President Obama is looking forward to “a good bowl of matzo ball soup,” at the fourth annual White House Seder on Friday.
Obama sent out his Passover greeting on Thursday, in which he speaks not only about his love for Passover dishes, but also on the meaning of the exodus story and the search for a cause after being freed from bondage.
“Throughout the years, the search for answers has deepened the Jewish people’s commitment to repairing the world, and inspired American Jews to help make our union more perfect,” Obama said. “And the story of that first Exodus has also inspired those who are not Jewish with common hopes, and a common sense of obligation.“
He also made a reference to current affairs when mentioning the shooting in Toulouse, France, which targeted Jewish school students and teachers. “Just as throughout history, there have been those who have sought to oppress others because of their faith, ethnicity or color of their skin.”
This will be the fourth Seder celebrated by Obama in the White House, a tradition the president began in 2008, when he joined his staff in a makeshift seder on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania. Obama and his advisers told the story many times, but for those who still haven’t heard it, Jarrod Bernstein, the White House liaison to the Jewish community is willing to retell.
The White House Seder, and this is also part of the Obama tradition, is strictly limited to current and former staff members and close friends, distinguishing the event from the annual Hanukkah reception which is celebrated with key members of the Jewish community and has long become the most sought-after ticket for Washington Jewish figures.
Contact Nathan Guttman at email@example.com
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.