UPDATE, March 20: The President's gifts to the Netanyahus Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Mrs. Sara Netanyahu will present special gifts to President Obama on Wednesday evening in Jerusalem, during a dinner at the Prime Minister's residence that caps the President's first day in Israel. The diplomatic gifts, for First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Daughters, were selected by Mrs. Netanyahu, the Prime Minister's office announced on Tuesday. The thoughtful Mrs. Netanyahu has also included a gift for First Dog Bo. (Above, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Netanyahu have tea at the White House in 2010)
The President has met with the Prime Minister more times than with any other world leader, according to the White House. Israeli citizens offered "hundreds of suggestions" on the Prime Minister's Facebook page, said Netanyahu's spokesman, and Mrs. Netanyahu selected a silver Passover plate for Mrs. Obama "that could be used at the traditional Passover seder that is held at the White House annually."
Mrs. Netanyahu will gift First Daughters Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, with "chains with silver medallions in the form of David's harp set with Roman glass."
The gift for Bo is far less artistic, but something he'll love: Mrs. Netanyahu selected "a rubber hamburger toy."
The President and Mrs. Obama have hosted a seder for family and friends every year since moving into the White House in 2009, with a traditional menu the White House chefs prepare from family recipes provided by guests. The Passover tradition started on the 2008 campaign trail, when the President joined an ad-hoc seder in a hotel basement being conducted by his aides. Passover begins at sundown on March 25, two days after President Obama returns from his trip, and the First Couple is expected to host a Seder again this year. (Above, the President raises a glass of wine during last year's Seder)
The Prime Minister's office also announced that singer Idan Raichel will perform at the dinner.
"Raichel will appear with several members of the Idan Raichel Project, including Maya Avraham and Kabra Kasai," said Netanyahu's office. "They will sing "Mima'amakim" and "Min Nhar Li Mshiti", and play an instrumental selection."
President Shimon Peres will honor President Obama with a State Dinner on Thursday in Jerusalem, where he will award Mr. Obama the Presidential Medal of Distinction. The dinner menu, however, is causing something of a controversy in Israel.
President Obama departs Washington for the Middle East on Tuesday night; his full itinerary is here. Acclaimed chef Shalom Kadosh has been selected to prepare the dinner menu at Prime Minister Netanyahu's residence.
Prime Minister Netanyahu's Dinner Menu
For President Obama
For President Obama
Ravioli filled with Confit of Jerusalem Artichokes
Filet of Red Mullet
Tossed with Green Soybeans
*Pink grapefruit and pomegranate sorbet to refresh the palate
Roast Fillet of Beef
in aromatic spices
A Selection of Spring Vegetables
mixed with red fruits
with citrus honey
Fig and Date Petits Fours
with caramelized green almonds
Coffee and Tea
Related: The President's fantasy food excursions in Israel and The White House briefing on the President's trip.
*In photo at top, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Netanyahu, are in in the Yellow Oval Room of the White House, July 6, 2010, by Samantha Appleton/White House; second photo by Pete Souza/White House.