Video, Photos: Chanukah Part at the White House

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chanukah-aprty-white-house[Video and photos.] “Welcome to the White House,” called out President Barack Obama, standing beside his wife Michelle, to a full crowd of Jewish guests attending his annual Chanukah reception on Wednesday.

“Every year, Michelle and I like to invite just a few friends over for a little Chanukah celebration,” the president said. “Nothing fancy. Actually, this is the second year we’ve invited so many friends that we’re hosting two parties instead of one. This is our first party – it is the best party. Don’t tell the others, though,” he joked.

As they did last year, the White House upped the total number of participants to 1000 people, 500 attending each of two back-to-back receptions.

The president mentioned in his speech American Alan Gross’ release from Cuba, saying that one of the great mitzvahs is “pidyon shvuyim.”

“He’s back where he belongs,” said the President, “in America, with his family, home for Chanukah. And I can’t think of a better way to mark this holiday, with its message that freedom is possible.”

The Menorah that was lit was built by two girls who attend a school in Jerusalem which brings Jewish and Muslim students together. Two of the students, Inbar Vardi and Mouran Ibrahim, traveled from Israel to light the Menorah.

“Inbar and Mouran and their fellow students teach us a critical lesson for this time in our history: The light of hope must outlast the fires of hate,” said Obama.

“That’s what the Hanukkah story teaches us. That’s what our young people can teach us – that one act of faith can make a miracle. That love is stronger than hate. That peace can triumph over conflict. And during this Festival of Lights, let’s commit ourselves to making some small miracles ourselves and then sharing them with the world,” he said.


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  1. aha so this is why mashiach is not here yet…
    cause were hanging out by the party of Achashveirosh (obamanation) when WE KNOW we shouldn’t be.

    if we don’t listen to our gedolim & we hang out at the wrong places (even if all kosher) etc… then how can we expect the geulah?

    perhaps you can assist me with an honest answer

    If you cannot give me an honest answer then you prove yourself guilty of going-if you would be invited-& mashiach cannot come when we mingle together with the kings ministers that’s we know we should not be hanging around.

  2. The Narcissist in Chief spent most of his remarks on his freeing of Alan Gross. He actually boastd about it saying he fulfilled the mitzvah of pidyon shvuim. (He actually said those words!) Of course, with Obama, it’s always about him. Obama couldn’t refrain from stating that there’s no better way to mark Hannukah than with the historic changes regarding Cuba. Why politicize what’s supposed to be a religious ceremony? Besides which, Hannukah is all about freedom to keep the mitzvos, whereas in Cuba, no one has freedom and Obama didn’t get any concessions from Raul Castro. (OK, maybe he got a few Cuban cigars) He even had the chutzpah to say that his new policy is good for Cuban’s small Jewish community! Finally, he used Allan Gross’ release to pat himself on the back, saying that Allan’s remarks about his (Obama’s) changes was extremely powerful. It’s too bad Jews still feel honored to be present at the White House Chanukah party with Obama. It’s a sham.

  3. There has been for many years Hanuka gatherings in the white house. People that are critical of president Obama…you can’t have it both ways ok? Either he NEVER maKe a Hanuka gathering and you will say that he hate Jews….or he will make it and you will say the typical cynical comments…..

    Give the man credit for Alan Gross just as he himself did.

  4. It’s incredible that the person they chose to light the menorah, conservative ‘rabbi’ Bradley Shavit Artson (can’t get more Hellenistic than that), said they would recite two blessings, and then goes ahead and says three blessings (sheh’hecheyanu), even though it was the second night of Chanukah. What’s worse is when he says that we are thanking G-d “for encouraging wise and resilient leaders who advance the cause of freedom today.” When Artson said the word ‘wise,’ he turned his head to look at Obama. If Obama were wise and truly understood the concept of freedom, he would immediately release Jonathan Pollard and not prolong negotiations with Iran knowing full well that Iran wants to destroy other peoples’ freedoms, including Israel and America. Braley Artson, you are a true spritiual heir to the misyavnim!

  5. The obesity problem among us (myself included) is a real health issue. I really notice it when these pictures are posted.

    It is hard to be a frum yid and not get fat, let’s face it, but with discipline and self control it is possible not to get obese.

    Jews can exhibit tremendous self control when it comes to eating non-Kosher food, so why can’t we seem to exhibit the same control when Kosher food is in front of us.???

  6. To Comment #3, Rabbi Avraham Goldstein,

    There’s nothing wrong with Obama’s mentioning the release of Alan Gross, but not when he makes it the main theme and bulk of his Hanukah address. In 2011 at the White House Chanukah gathering, Obama, referring to Chanukah said: “We never need an excuse to have a good party.” He disdains our holidays and deserves criticism when criticism is due. Just the fact that he continues to fund the Palestinian Authority of which Hamas is a partner says volumes about Obama. The State Department acknowledges that Hamas is a terrorist organization, but Obama has no qualms about sending them money. Hanukah was about Jewish religious freedom and sovereignty in the land of Israel. Actions speak louder than words and Obama has shown he is no friend of Israel.


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