President Barack Obama marked the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover on Monday, in a small and intimate gathering that took place a few days after returning from his highly anticipated and politicized visit to Israel.
The White House ceremony reportedly “follows tradition” except for a few additions, such as a reading of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that freed America’s slaves, officials said, according to the AFP news agency.
“This is something that the president started doing with members of his staff and some friends during the campaign in 2008,” White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
“It was an opportunity for him to spend some time with staff on the campaign, with friends, and it was a very meaningful moment on the campaign for him,” he said.
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