Chanukah is an opportunity for wonderful celebrations in Jewish homes and communities. It has also become a time in the United States in which elected officials host receptions to connect with and celebrate the Jewish community – and the OU/IPA’s leaders have been privileged to attend these events.
At the national level, President Barack Obama hosted a Chanukah Reception at The White House on Thursday night. The president spoke about Chanukah’s message of resilience — symbolized by the Menorah lit at the event which was from a synagogue in Long Beach that was heavily flooded during Hurricane Sandy. OU leaders attending the White House event included: Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament, Mr. Avraham Wolfson, IPA honorary chairman Tzvi Friedman, NCSY national board members Avi Katz and Ari Shabat, and NCSY International Director Rabbi Steve Burg.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey hosted a Chanukah reception at New Jersey on Monday night. OU leaders in attendance included Josh Pruzansky and Rabbi Genack.
The Governor thanked the community for its help this past year, which included the restoration following Hurricane Sandy.
On Monday, December 10, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted his annual Chanukah party. At the party, he remarked how strong the Jewish community has been in the wake of Sandy and how encouraging it is to see the community unify to provide relief services for those affected. OU leaders in attendance included Rabbi Steven Weil, Jeff Leb and Azariah HaCohen.