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Gov. Roy Cooper holds first Passover Seder at NC Governor's Mansion

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper hosted a Passover Seder at the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh on March 29, 2018. It's believed to be the first of its kind held at the mansion.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper hosted a Passover Seder at the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh on March 29, 2018. It's believed to be the first of its kind held at the mansion. Office of the North Carolina Governor

The Cooper administration believes it made history last week.

Gov. Roy Cooper hosted a Passover Seder at the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh on March 29, which his administration said was the first time the Jewish celebration has been held on the premises.

A Passover Seder — pronounced "seyder" — is a feast to mark the start of Passover, a holiday commemorating when God freed the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt.

"From what we've been able to find, we believe it is the first Seder ever held at the mansion," spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said.

Cooper, who is Christian, had attended a Seder before and wanted to celebrate the holiday with friends in a special way. Guests included Attorney General Josh Stein, Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen and other friends of Cooper and his wife, Kristin.

The mansion served traditional Passover fare such as matzah ball soup, brisket, potato kugel and carrot tzimmes, Weiner said.

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The Seder traditionally is a combination of a meal and service of rituals, which include drinking wine, breaking matzah (an unleavened cracker of sorts) and eating bitter herbs.

This year, Passover started on sundown March 30 and goes until April 7. During that time, observers don't eat leavened foods.

On Easter Sunday, Cooper attended White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh.

"Happy Easter, with hope, from our family to yours," he tweeted.

Specht: 919-829-4870 @AndySpecht


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