April 11, 2009

White House Passover

President Obama hosts a traditional Sedar dinner in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House on Thursday night, April 9, 2009. Some friends and White House employees and their families joined the Obama family. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

According to reports, Obama had a Seder with campaign workers in Pennsylvania last year and, in response to the final refrain: “Next year in Jerusalem!”, Obama replied: “Next year in the White House!” So, above he makes good, bringing together many from the group.

Some random thought on the image itself: The photo captures both the wonk-side and the loose side of Obama as he holds up his Haggadah, but looks rather chatty. Putting the kids in the middle of the table is particularly consistent with Passover as a family celebration. And then, White House-wise, do any of you have the low down on the painting? (I was also thinking, perhaps the Old Family Dining Room could use more comfortable chairs.)

There’s been a bit of sniping about who did and didn’t get invited (propagated by the desperate LA Times), and other good natured questions such as: Did Obama get drunk? Did Sasha find the matzoh? Of course, this still is a political image, one guaranteed to warm hearts in the Israel lobby — especially since there’s never been a Seder in the WH before). Overall, however, it captures and documents the inclusive and everyman quality of the President (as expressed by this commenter at Huffpo), and doesn’t deserve too much of a go through the spin machine.

(image: Pete Souza/White House. April 9, 2009. Old Family Dining Room. White House)

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus