The seventh night of Chanukah saw the President and First Lady hosting community representatives for the annual White House Chanukah reception. The evening opened on a most touching note with the candles being lit on a menorah from the family of Daniel Pearl – the Wall Street Journal reporter who uttered the words “I am a Jew” before being brutally murdered by terrorists. The evening then continued in its annual festive spirit – with songs by the Zamir Chorale and with a kashered White House kitchen providing glatt kosher fare for the 600 guests – each of whom had a few moments to meet with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
We are especially pleased, in light of recent efforts surrounding Jerusalem and the denial by some of the existence of the Temple of Solomon, that the President’s remarks were straightforward in describing Chanukah: “A band of brothers came together to fight this oppression. And against incredible odds, they liberated the capital city of Jerusalem. As they set about rededicating the holy temple, they witnessed a great miracle…”
The Orthodox Union community was privileged to participate in the evening with the following leaders in attendance: OU Senior Vice President Stanley Weinstein and his wife Lenore of Miami, Florida, OU/IPA director Nathan Diament, NCSY director Rabbi Steve Burg, and OU congregational Rabbis Yaakov Neuburger (Beth Abraham – Bergenfield, NJ), Allen Schwartz (Ohab Zedek – New York, NY), Mordechai Torczyner (Sons of Israel – Allentown,PA), and Judah Dardik (Beth Jacob – Oakland, CA).