Video: Second Gentleman kicks off Passover week at virtual seder

Douglass Emhoff cracks bar mitzvah joke, talks about seder at grandma's, comments on the Jewish struggle for freedom.
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Second Gentleman Douglass Emhoff virtually addresses the 13th Annual Rainbow Seder, Sunday, March 21, 2021.
Second Gentleman Douglass Emhoff virtually addresses the 13th Annual Rainbow Seder, Sunday, March 21, 2021.

Speaking at the 13th annual Rainbow Seder Sunday night, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff said that attending seder at his grandmother’s in Brooklyn was where he learned from an early age the power of Passover.

“The journey from oppression to freedom has been our people’s narrative for more than 2,000 years,” Emhoff said in a prepared video statement at the virtual seder sponsored by the Human Rights Council, the Israeli Embassy in Washington, the Edlavitch DCJCC and Bet Mishpachah.

In his introduction of Emhoff, HRC head Alphonso David spoke of the Exodus story and how Judaism inspired millions around the world to overcome struggle and hardship, a theme the Second Gentleman echoed in his comments.

“As we celebrate another Passover during the pandemic, we remember that Judaism doesn’t teach us to only fight for ourselves or only for our own freedom, we are bound in this struggle together,” Emhoff said.

Emhoff also managed to squeeze in a joke about his bar mitzvah.

“I wish I could see all of you in person,” Emhoff told the 100 plus participants on the Zoom call. “But I’m positive that whatever you’re wearing looks better than me in the three piece velour suit that I wore at my bar mitzvah.”

At 56 years old, Emhoff would have been 13 in 1977, peak velour suit season. Maybe he can blame his parents for that fashion faux pas? Here’s how Vice President Kamala Harris described meeting her Jewish in-laws for the first time.

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