News & Politics

Doug Emhoff Will Headline the White House’s Virtual Passover Celebration

The Second Gentleman will be joined by members of the administration and White House staff.

Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Edsel L.

As Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff has been party to many ‘firsts’: he’s the first husband of a vice president, the first Jewish spouse of a vice president, and now, he is taking part in the White House’s first Passover program open to the public. The virtual event will take place today, March 25 at 5 PM on Zoom. Registration is free, and a slate of senior officials—including Vice President Kamala Harris—will make appearances throughout the program.

Unlike the annual Easter Egg Roll—a storied spring tradition spanning 143 years—the White House’s history with Passover celebrations is far more abbreviated. The first White House seder was an impromptu event at a Sheraton hotel in April 2008. There, three staffers were joined by an unexpected guess: not Elijah, but then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. Subsequently, Obama would host a seder every year of his presidency with daughters Malia and Sasha reciting the Four Questions. While Donald Trump’s staffers organized their own seder, the 45th president never attended the dinner.

Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.