US Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is Jewish, on Thursday hosted a virtual Passover Seder together with his wife, Vice President Kamala Harris.
Passover begins at sundown on Saturday night, but a White House official told The Forward that the Seder would be held two days before Passover in order to allow traditionally observant Jews, who do not use computers on the holiday itself, to take part.
The online event included recorded remarks from President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
“As we continue working to defeat this pandemic, we continue to confront discrimination and prejudice, as we seek to rebuild from a time of struggle and loss, we need the inspiration of Passover now, more than ever,” said the President.
“Passover, at its heart, is a story of overcoming adversity and finding hope. Of summoning the resilience and resolve to emerge from a long dark night to a brighter morning. It’s a story of empathy and how our own rights are bound up with the rights of our neighbors, and it’s a story of faith, that even in the face of oppression, better days lie ahead,” added the First Lady.
“If we learn anything from the Haggadah, it’s that our task isn’t to discard painful memories. It’s to turn that pain into purpose,” she said.
The President added, “As we work to vaccinate the nation, bring our economy back from the brink, let’s hold that lesson close to our hearts, and we can close the Seder by adapting a familiar refrain: Not only next year in Jerusalem, but next year in person. Next year together.”