White House Has A Passover Seder, But Donald Trump, Ivanka, And Jared Kushner Skip It

Despite the fact that the United States has never had a Jewish president, a White House Passover Seder has become an annual event, and many were hopeful that this year, it might be a bigger deal, considering that Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, and Eric Trump’s wife, Lara, are all Jews. But sadly, even though a White House Passover Seder was held, President Trump and family chose not to attend. In their stead, Trump had a few aids attend, but particularly in light of insensitive comments about Jews and the Holocaust by Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer, this is being taken as disrespectful and a slap in the face.

Beginning in 2008, the Obamas hosted a Passover Seder, and many thought, particularly given the Trump family connection to the Jewish faith, that the event as hosted by the first family would continue. Yet instead of an acknowledged holiday by President Trump, the Seder held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building was considered an appeasement for staffers who couldn’t be with their families for the holiday, because they were at work, according to the Washington Post.

Lately, it has become public that Stephen Bannon, a rumored anti-Semite, has been butting heads with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, an observant Jew. Bannon reportedly called Kushner a “cuck” which is a term that is said to have anti-Semitic undertones. But instead of dismissing Bannon, who has been demoted, Trump has told Bannon and Kushner to work things out between them.

A White House staffer said that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Jeremy Katz, deputy director of the National Economic Council, attended the seder as guests. President Obama, who is not Jewish, started the tradition of having an annual Passover seder, as he realized that Passover is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish faith. During his time in office, President Obama held and attended the White House seder in the residence’s old family dining room.


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And not only did President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend, but he also made a point of having his daughters be present each year to learn about the importance of the holiday. President Obama also reportedly hid the Afikomen himself, and had the girls search the residence for it.

Obama staffer Herbie Ziskend, who attended the first Obama seder, said he believes it is important that at some point, Donald Trump take part in a White House seder.

“Hopefully President Trump is able to attend a White House Seder at some point because I think retelling the ancient story of liberation from persecution is an important exercise for the leader of the free world. Especially this one. Maybe he will do so next year…in Jerusalem!”

Even People Magazine seemed puzzled that the entire extended Trump family took a pass on the White House Passover Seder. President Obama had started another tradition on Passover, which was a video he would make wishing Jews around the world “Chag Sameach,” a joyful holiday.

While President Trump also passed on this tradition, his daughter, Ivanka, tweeted Passover wishes to American Jews.

“During #Passover, we reflect on the significance of the exodus from Egypt and celebrate the great freedoms we enjoy today! #ChagPesach,”

Following in his daughter Ivanka’s footsteps, President Trump also posted a message on Twitter, acknowledging the holiday.

“Happy Passover to everyone celebrating in the United States of America, Israel, and around the world.

Do you think that President Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner should have made an effort to at least stop in for the White House Passover Seder?

[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]