Blog Posts Related to the American Jewish Community

  • Let All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat: A Food and Justice Seder at USDA

    Secretary Tom Vilsack Speaking at USDA Seder

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks at the Food and Justice Passover Seder at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Lance Cheung, USDA)

    This post originally appeared on the USDA blog.

    Just ahead of the official start of Passover this Friday at sunset, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted its second Food and Justice Passover Seder. The traditional Jewish seder commemorates the Passover holiday and the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. USDA’s symbolic seder, held in partnership with Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, highlighted the intersection of food and justice issues in the modern world.  This year’s event centered on the themes of hunger, access to healthy food, sustainable food production, and fair treatment for farm workers.

  • A Passover Message from the Obama Family

    Starting tomorrow night, the Jewish community in the United States, Israel, and throughout the world will come together to celebrate the holiday of Passover. 

    President and Mrs. Obama will join them, continuing their tradition of hosting a small Seder at the White House. By now, the story of how that tradition began has been told and retold, but in the spirit of Passover, I’ll tell it again: In April of 2008, the President and his staff were on the trail in Pennsylvania in the midst of a long primary campaign. Weary from a long day of work and away from their families, a small group of staffers came together to hold an impromptu Seder. When then-Senator Obama got wind of the Seder, he gathered some other staff and friends and decided to join. At the end of the Seder, the President followed the traditional “Next year in Jerusalem” declaration with a pledge of his own – “Next year in the White House.” Each year since, he has followed through on that promise. This year, he also added a new touch, a video message to Jews everywhere wishing them Chag Sameach as they continue their own traditions or start new ones this Passover.

    Here it is:

  • Recipe in Spotlight - Apple-Matzoh Kugel

    Editor's note: This post is part of a series spotlighting different family recipes used by members of the Obama Administration for Passover.

    This recipe is from my wife Hildy, who got it from her friend Jane in Connecticut.  Dessert is always the hardest part of the Seder meal, and this one is just sweet enough without being overpowering. It's so good, my wife brings it out even when it is not Peseach!  

  • Recipe in Spotlight - Kookoo Sabzi

    Editor's note: This post is part of a series spotlighting different family recipes used by members of the Obama Administration for Passover.

    This is a recipe from my mother-in-law, Lili Keypour, who was born and raised in Esfahan, Iran.   Kookoo is a Persian-style egg dish that is similar to an Italian frittata or a Spanish Tortilla Española (without the potatoes). Iranians make many, many different types with a variety of flavorings. The kookoo sabzi, flavored with a variety of herbs and tinted a deep green, is probably the most popular.  It is delicious, filled with vitamins and low in carbs.

  • Recipe in Spotlight - Apple Matzoh Pudding

    Editor's note: This post is part of a series spotlighting different family recipes used by members of the Obama Administration for Passover.

    My father's family used to serve my Aunt Glady's special noodle kugel for all the big family get togethers. But this combination of noodles, crushed pineapple, butter and sour cream was a diet disaster. As soon as my mom married my dad, they began hosting the Passover Seder and Glady's kugel was a thing of the past.

  • Recipe in Spotlight - Passover Birthday Brownies and Lemon Almond Coconut Cookies

    Editor's note: This post is part of a series spotlighting different family recipes used by members of the Obama Administration for Passover.

    In the Siegel house, Pesach 1993 gave fresh meaning to the egg on the seder plate. Shortly after the second seder, my mom went into labor and before sunset the next day I had a new baby brother and a new baby sister.

  • Recipe in Spotlight - Glazed Beef Brisket

    Editor's note: This post is part of a series spotlighting different family recipes used by members of the Obama Administration for Passover.

    This braised brisket recipe is a mash-up of various classic recipes with Julia Child.  Its secret comes from two things: using parsnips in the braising vegetables, which give the meat and juice a special sweetness; and clarifying the braising liquid and reducing it to a glaze that gives the meat a rich gloss and flavor.  Our seder table asks for more and, two years ago, my oldest daughter asked me for this recipe so she could serve it the first time she led a seder.

  • Recipes in Spotlight - “Birthday Worthy” Chocolate Passover Spongecake and “Worth the Potchkey” Passover Kugel

    Editor's note: This post is part of a series spotlighting different family recipes used by members of the White House staff for Passover.