You have to have a little fun with the Wikileaks emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, and here’s a moment of joy. Lanny Davis invites John Podesta and his wife to his and his wife’s power seder, February 26, 2015, “Save the date,” five weeks ahead of time. Note all the cues to Podesta that this is an ecumenical seder, including the nods to Gerald Ford and Jack Kemp.
Carolyn and I would be honored if you and both could attend our Passover Seder on Friday, April 3, at 7 pm, at our home in Potomac Maryland. We are proud that our Seders are less traditional. While they tell the story of the Exodus in the Seder book called the “Haggadah,” it is mostly in English and we also dedicate our Seders each year to an individual or an historic event that offers a profound message for our Seder gathering. In years past, for example, we have dedicated our Seder that year to Pee Wee Reese, who should the moral courage during the Cincinnati Reds-Brooklyn Dodgers game to walk across the field to put his arm around Jackie Robinson; to the cause of Palestinian-Israeli peace and a two-state solution; to Malala Yousafzai for her courage and inspiration for young women around the globe; and, on the year of his death, to Gerald Ford for his integrity and dignity when he served as president through difficult times and crises for our country. We have also been honored in years past with special guests and friends, such as former congressman, Secretary, and legendary quarterback Jack Kemp; former Ambassador to Sweden under President Clinton, Tom Siebert; and Dr. Ziad Asali, the head of the Washington D.C.-based American Task Force on Palestine. We would be so happy if you both could join us this year. We expect about 10-12 guests in total. Our tradition has been to invite Jews and non-Jews to share this experience of our Seder, which so many people have remarked upon as memorable. Please let me know as soon as possible.
Davis is hardly alone. Seders are now cross-cultural gatherings at the White House and other establishment watering holes. And any secular Jew can tell you that there are plenty of non-Jews at east coast seders. Many of these seders are led by intermarried couples (which I am guessing Lanny and Carolyn Atwell-Davis are).
Though Davis’s dedication to Palestinian-Israeli peace is not very convincing. Just the previous summer to this seder, he was a Washington megaphone for the Israeli massacre in Gaza, with the usual talking points about the most moral army in the world. “What army sends texts and phone calls to warn civilians of its intentions to attack and implores them to leave before the attack?” And BTW, the American Task Force on Palestine is a famously conservative Palestinian organization.