Obama Hosts First White House Pesach Seder


pesach-seder-white-housePresident Barack Obama and his wife Michelle hosted a private Pesach seder in the White House Thursday, fulfilling a campaign-trail promise he made a year ago. The guest list included a group of around 10 aides who, unable to go home for the Yom Tov last year, held an impromptu seder in the basement of the Sheraton hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as the Obama primary campaign drew to a close in the state.At the end of the seder, after the traditional refrain of “Leshana Habaah B’Yerushalayim,” Obama and others in the group jokingly added, “Next year in the White House,” an official said.

The informal seder was conducted by Eric Lesser, 24, personal aide to senior adviser David Axelrod. Lesser worked during the New Hampshire primary.

White House videographer Arun Chaundhary – a constant presence on the trail – also landed invites for his family.

Also invited were Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest advisers, and family friend Eric Whitaker, who is visiting from Chicago and attended a seder last year with the campaign.

Obama’s personal aide Reggie Love, Michelle Obama’s deputy chief of staff Melissa Winter, personal aide Dana Lewis and associate social secretary Samantha Tubman all received invites.

The White House chefs prepared the seder in the family dining room in the executive mansion, the White House said.

President Obama broke new ground by personally hosting a White House Seder. The event was lauded by the National Jewish Democratic Council as the nation’s first White House seder.

“By hosting the first presidential Seder in America’s history, President Barack Obama shows the personal and deep relationship he has with the Jewish community,” Deputy Executive Director OF the National Jewish Democratic Council Alexis C. Rice told the Associated Press. “There is no question, Obama is a true friend of the Jewish community.”

{News Agencies/Elisha Ferber-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Mr or Ms: “….stealing our inheritance”…Please leave your ridiculous and ignorant comments out. There’s no place for that and you should be ashamed.

  2. I am please that Mr Pres. hss expressed his appreciation for the Jewish people on his staff and people of B’nai v’B’not Yisrael. It feels good. I am a secular Jew who is a part of a Jewish Renewal congregation. We and the world are one in our search for Justice in this world. Thank you, Barak and Michelle. May we all hope that you succed in what ever way you can. We need a skilled compromiser, whose values at heir root reflect our own. I am much more “to the Left” than you, but I voted for you, as did everyone I know, even my 91 year old aunt, who lived ten years in Isreal. (Run on sentence? No time to edit.)

  3. As an African American man, I am thrilled to see our president hosting the first seder dinner held by a sitting president. What an amazing turnaround from the eight years of idiocy in which intellectualism was spurned and the spirit of bullying promoted at the expense of the history of civilizations dating back thousands of years. As a country, each and everyone one of us has benefits from the contributions being made to our country by members of the Jewish American community in the halls of universities, government, and beyond. In every Jewish holiday is a reminder, for me, that not only is there something to be learned from every spiritual practice but that an unwavering belief in the power of God is ultimate. So welcome to the seat at the table. The reservation was being held all along; we were just waiting for your arrival.

  4. The President and his first lady should be thanked for another first for the White House. I hope that this is the beginning for the actions and political negotiation that will once and for all give the Jewish People a homeland that will be able to live in peace eith its Arab Neighbors. GOOD LUCK Mr. PRESIDENT I hope you succeed in this impossible task.