Last year, Passover came as then-candidate Barack Obama was campaigning in Pennsylvania. A couple of the campaign staffers on the bus who are Jewish and couldn't get home to be with their families decided to put together a Seder (the traditional meal marking the start of the holiday) as best they could. They were delighted when Obama showed.
This year, President Obama, who is Christian, is continuing the tradition; he'll attend a Seder on Thursday night at the White House with some staffers, some Jewish and some not. His wife and daughters will be there according to a list of attendees released by White House aides this evening, but some key staff have other commitments. Senior adviser David Axelrod and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel aren't expected. Axelrod said he'll be in Chicago with family.
The White House list does not include any key Jewish campaign supporters outside the administration or any religious or community leaders, and aides would not say for sure whether others are invited or would attend. The list released included: senior adviser Valerie Jarrett; the president's personal aide, Reggie Love; the Obamas' friend Eric Whitaker; the first lady's counsel Susan Sher, deputy chief of staff Melissa Winter and personal aide Dana Lewis; Axelrod's assistant Eric Lesser; White House videographer Arun Chaudhary; Herbie Ziskend, the staff assistant to the vice president's policy and economic advisers; Lisa Kohnke, a deputy director of advance and special events; associate social Secretary Samantha Tubman; and several of their family members.