No Bread for Obama: Presidential Fare to Be Kosher for Passover
The King David will roll out the carpet, but hold the rolls. With the hotel in a security lockdown, all the food necessary for the trip and the prosperous Pesach crowd to follow is being stored in containers out back.
When U.S. President Barack Obama said yes to a long-overdue visit next week, his first since becoming president in 2008, it’s not clear that he knew what he was getting himself into. Gastronomically, anyway. The entire King David Hotel, where he’ll be staying with an entourage that will fill all 233 rooms from Wednesday March 20 to Friday March 22, will be made kosher for Passover (Pesach) ahead of his visit.
Were the staff of Israel’s most famous hotel to have waited until Obama and his team departs next Friday, it simply wouldn’t have left the King David enough time to get ready for the holiday, which is an enormously important time for nearly every hotel in the Jewish state - especially in Jerusalem.
“We’re used to hosting heads of state and also American presidents, but this situation is very special for us because it’s so close to Pesach,” says hotel manager Dror Danino. “For us it will be double the preparations.” The additional security necessary for ensuring the president’s safety means that the entire hotel will be “under siege,” as he put it, meaning that everything necessary for servicing the hotel during the president’s visit must be there in advance of his arrival - from food to linens. As such, the hotel had to rent out huge refrigerated containers and park them out back, just to accommodate all the food and drink that won’t be able to be delivered during the visit - and which will be needed for the well-heeled Passover guests who will arrive straight after Obama and stay through the following week.