Obama holds Passover Seder at the White House

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a Passover Seder Dinner in the White House on March 25, 2013.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama was marking Monday night's start of Passover with a private Seder at the White House.

Obama started the tradition as a presidential candidate in 2008 when he joined Jewish staffers celebrating on the campaign trail. He's continued it every year since with a small group of aides and friends. He told Israelis during a visit last week he wanted the tradition at the White House so his daughters could experience it.

This year, the first family planned to use a Seder plate Obama picked up on his visit. The plate was a gift to first lady Michelle Obama from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara.

The Seder is the feast starting the Passover, when Jewish people celebrate liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt.