Rauner and first lady Diana Rauner hosted a model Seder at the Governor’s
Mansion Tuesday night. About 75 legislators and executive branch
officials as well as Jewish Federation leaders from across the state
co-host committee included JUF board members Keith (Marci) Shapiro and Morrie
Silverman (Lori Komisar) and former JUF Annual Campaign Chairman Andy (Diane)
Lappin as well as Kelly and Jeff Brincat. The service was led by Rabbi
Avraham Kagan of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois.
Each of the 10
tables took turns leading the Seder, the first ever for several of the
welcomed the attendees – not to his and his wife’s governor’s mansion, but to “the
house of the people of Illinois … your house,” indicating a desire to have many
more such events in the future. He also stressed the eternal lessons that
are central to the Passover story, and their enduring relevance to the
challenges our world and community still face.
nefarious efforts to impose boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) on
Israel, the governor stressed how disingenuous and dangerous such efforts are
in general and especially on college campuses, pledging not only his opposition
to such campaigns but that Illinois will be a national leader in the battle
The first lady
added, “It was very meaningful for us to celebrate this very important holiday
in our new home with representatives of the Jewish community throughout the
JUF Executive Vice
President Jay Tcath, who attended Tuesday night’s Seder as well as ones hosted
by previous governors, welcomed the re-launching of the tradition, saying,
“it’s a treat to take time off from the usual business of pressing state
governmental affairs and to share, with the Governor, Diana, state senators and
reps and Jewish Federation colleagues from across Illinois, something as
enjoyable and meaningful as a model Seder.
"The chance to schmooze in such
an informal, beautiful, historic setting is always special, and many thanks are
due to the Rauners and the four co-host families, all great supporters of JUF
and our Jewish community. And thanks also to Richard Goldberg, Rauner's deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs for his partnership on this and on the many issues of concern to our community."