December 2, 2010, Arlington, VA—The lighting of the National Menorah took place last night outside the White House to kick off the beginning of the Hanukkah eight day holiday. The Leadership Institute wishes LI supporters, graduates and friends a very happy Festival of Lights.
Last night many gathered outside the White House Ellipse to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah or Chanukah by the lighting the National Menorah. The Master of Ceremonies Rabbi Levi Shemtov was joined by his father Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob “Jack” Lew—the highest ranking Jewish member of the president’s cabinet—in lighting the 30-foot National Menorah.
Hanukkah’s eight day celebration commemorates the rededication of the Jewish Second Temple in Jerusalem in 164 B.C. after its desecration by the Syrian-Greeks in the Maccabean Revolt. The word Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew and the holiday begins on the Hebrew calendar’s 25th day of Kislev. To watch a History Channel informational video about this holiday, please click here.
The first National Menorah lighting was in 1979 where President Jimmy Carter participated. The National Menorah is close to where the National Christmas Tree will be located after its national lighting ceremony December 9.
We wish those celebrating Hanukkah a very happy holiday!
The Leadership Institute is an educational foundation whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this, LI identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media. Since the Institute’s 1979 founding, more than 90,000 people have been trained (with half of those being in the last six years) in one or more of the 40 current programs offered in all 50 states and across the globe. For more information, please visit: http://www.leadershipinstitute.org