White House Renews Seder Tradition

By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2010 4:37 PM CDT
President Obama and Michelle Obama play host to a Seder, or Passover dinner, April 9, 2009, in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House.   (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza via Flickr)

(Newser) – Among the families around the world gathering tomorrow to celebrate the beginning of Passover with a dinner, or seder, will be a high-profile group: the Obamas. The White House seder tradition started on the campaign trail in 2008, when then-senator Barack Obama surprised three staffers by showing up for their makeshift celebration in a Pennsylvania hotel basement. Last year's seder was a bit more impressive, with close to two dozen friends, relatives, and staffers gathering at the White House.

The event is private, but some details of last year's seder have emerged: Malia and Sasha asked the four questions and found the afikomen, and the menu includes gefilte fish and brisket. A staffer who was in on the 2008 seder and now helps organize the White House meal tells the New York Times last year's likely was "the first time in history that gefilte fish had been placed on White House dishware."

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