Obama Urges 'Dedication to Peace' Ahead of Final White House Seder

Passover story 'has comforted countless Jewish families during times of oppression,' notes the president in a statement before the Jewish holiday.

In this March 15, 2016, file photo, President Barack Obama smiles as he listens to Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny speak during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

U.S. President Barack Obama prepared for his last Passover seder in the White House Friday, releasing a statement in which he described the holiday as "one of history's greatest examples of emancipation."

The exodus from Egypt, wrote Obama, is a "story of redemption and hope, told and retold over thousands of years," one that "has comforted countless Jewish families during times of oppression, echoing in rallying cries from civil rights around the world." 

The president noted that this year's seder would be special as it is his last in office. He began the White House tradition in 2009. 

"Passover gives us all a special opportunity to renew our belief in things unseen even as the future remains uncertain," wrote Obama. "May this season inspire us all to rededicate ourselves to peace and freedom for all of God's children. From our family to yours, chag sameach."