Passover, a Jewish celebration commemorating the story of the Exodus and the Israelites' freedom from slavery in Egypt, begins Friday at sundown. Obama said in a video address he plans to celebrate with the fourth annual White House Seder led by Jewish members of his staff.
"Led by Jewish members of my staff, we'll retell the story of the Exodus, listen to our youngest guest ask the four questions, and of course, look forward to a good bowl of matzo ball soup," he said.
In his speech, Obama referenced the Toulouse, France, killings as a recent example of "those who have targeted the Jewish people for harm."
Passover is the time for Jews to renew their faith that liberty will ultimately prevail over such violence, he said.
"And they will ask one of our life's most difficult questions: Once we have passed from bondage to liberty, how do we make the most of all that God has given us?" Obama asked.
"This question may never be resolved, but throughout the years, the search for answers has deepened the Jewish people's commitment to repairing the world, and inspired American Jews to help make our union more perfect. And the story of that first Exodus has also inspired those who are not Jewish with common hopes, and a common sense of obligation."