President Trump to Host White House Hanukkah Party
US president will continue annual tradition started under former president George W. Bush in 2001
By Eric Cortellessa | 13 November 2017, 1:05 am 0
WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump will host a White House Hanukkah party on December 7, an administration official confirmed to The Times of Israel on Sunday.
Maggie Haberman of The New York Times broke the news on Twitter that invitations had been extended for the affair.
This year’s event will mark the continuation of an annual White House tradition started in 2001 under then president George W. Bush.
His successor, Barack Obama, maintained the ritual and often hosted two receptions, as invitations were in such high demand and Obama enjoyed wide support from the American Jewish community, despite an often tumultuous relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Invitees usually include the heads of American Jewish organizations, Jewish members of the Cabinet and Congress, and other prominent American Jews.
Past presidents dating back to Jimmy Carter have also participated in a Hanukkah Menorah-lighting Ceremony.
In a first for a US president, Donald Trump has immediate family members who are Jewish.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, converted to Judaism after marrying Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew. They both remain observant and are raising their children Jewish.
It is not yet clear what role Trump will have in this year’s White House Hannukah party, but in the past it has been customary for president’s to take part in lighting a Menorah and then to give remarks.
Hanukkah begins on the evening of December 12 and will last until December 20.