The Hanukkah symbol will become an official part of the White House’s holiday decorations going forward.
In years past, previous United States Presidents have received symbols of Jewish holidays from various prominent Jewish faith leaders. However, none of these symbols have become an enduring part of the White House’s yearly holiday decorations and festivities. That has officially changed as of this year.
This week, to commemorate the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden held a ceremony unveiling the first official White House menorah. This nine-pronged candelabra will become a permanent piece of the White House’s holiday collection, resting in the White House archives outside of the holiday season.
In addition to celebrating Hanukkah, the menorah stands as an important statement against the disconcerting rise of antisemitic rhetoric and hate crimes throughout the United States in recent years.
In celebration of Hanukkah, President Biden and the First Lady hosted a reception this evening at the White House – where they marked a new tradition, the first ever lighting of a permanent White House menorah. pic.twitter.com/Uzznp3kw6v
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 20, 2022
“Together, we must stand up against the disturbing rise in antisemitism. And together, we must stand up against bigotry in any of its forms. Our democracy depends on it,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said during the lighting ceremony. “As a descendant of those who fled persecution because they were Jewish, it is especially meaningful to be here tonight as we light this menorah in our nation’s capital and under the protection of its laws.”