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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ma Nishtaneh in the White House? Seder and Obama

Barack Obama hosted a Seder: Who was invited? - Well, Lynn SweetMah Nishtanah in the White House. She also has the Who's Who at the Obama seder. Brisket and kugel. OK I must admit, I grew up learning about Mah Nishtanah, as in my early years, I grew up in the Humboldt Avenue/Brookledge Neighborhood of Boston, (It was Jewish at the time). Our Jewish Neighbors would invite family members over for Seder. Yes, this brother has eaten matzah ball soup. Hmmm...

seder_hi-res.jpg

(White House photo) (See below for ID's)

Lyn Sweet writes; President Obama and his family hosted a seder at the White House on Thursday, the second night of Passover. Last year Passover fell during the Pennsylvania primary and Obama joined a makeshift seder Eric Lesser--now an assistant to David Axelrod--put together at a hotel in Harrisburg.

Some of the group at that seder were invited for the first Obama White House seder. The group used Maxwell House haggadahs--yes, named for the coffee maker-- a very basic haggadah but one that includes all the traditional elements.

Speaking of tradition....The menu included the traditional Passover fixings--matzah, charoset, brisket and chicken, along with a kugel. There were macaroons for dessert.


Who's who: From the President's left is Samantha Tubman (she came to the original one in Harrisburg and now works for Social Secretary Desiree Rogers).... Next to Tubman is Melissa Winter (deputy chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama) then First daughters Sasha, and Malia, then the First Lady.

Next to the First Lady is deputy White House counsel Susan Sher, and next to Susan Sher (out of view) are her sons Evan Moore and Michael Cohen, top White House advisor Valerie Jarrett and Obama pal and University of Chicago Medical Center honcho Eric Whitaker (who you can't see).

On the other side of the table, to the President's immediate right, is Susan Sher's husband Neil Cohen. Next to him is Laura Moser (Arun Chaudhary wife), then White House videographer Arun Chaudhary, Vice President Biden aide Herbie Ziskend (Chaudhary and Ziskend were at Harrisburg) Eric Lesser, Lesser's father, Martin Lesser, Deputy Director of Advance Lisa Kohnke, Mrs. Obama's personal aide, Dana Lewis, and Obama personal assistant Reggie Love.

AAPP says: Just in case you don't know. Seder is the most important event in the Passover celebration. Usually gathering the whole family and friends together, the Seder is steeped in long held traditions and customs. Leading up to the first night of Passover, the home is cleaned and cleared of all yeast foods, called hametz. All hametz is either eaten before Passover begins or "sold" to non-Jewish neighbors and friends.The rules surrounding Passover are strict and many, with only special foods, utensils, and dishware allowed. More HERE and HERE


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