President Obama celebrates Passover Seder at the White House

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The first family used a silver Seder plate given to the president by Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during his visit to Israel last week, the White House confirmed.

Obama began the Seder tradition with members of his staff and some friends during his first presidential campaign in 2008. The feast, which marks the starting of Passover, is a celebration of the Jewish liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt.

"This has been a very, very powerful event for the president," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.

"They will participate in the traditional Seder activities, and I know that there are some secret family recipes that are involved in the whole thing as well," Earnest added. "So it’s something that the President looks forward to every year."



White House

Monday night, the White House released a pair of photos of the event that show first lady Michelle Obama lighting candles at a large dinner table, and President Obama and other guests raising their wine glasses. Campaign and White House staff, including former senior adviser David Axelrod, were also in attendance at the event.