Washington - Menorahs Lit In White House Ceremony Emphasize Solidarity And Survival
Washington - Two unique menorahs were lit today at the official White House candle lighting ceremonies, chosen from over 50 menorahs that were submitted for consideration by the public.
As previously reported on VIN News, the White House issued a call for menorahs, hoping to find distinctive specimens to be lit at the annual holiday celebration.
A statement issued by Matt Nosanchuk, associate director of public engagement for the White House, said that 54 submissions were received, including menorahs that were centuries old and others that hailed from all over the world.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama lit the first menorah this afternoon. Made in Israel during the 1920’s by designer Ze’ev Raban, the menorah comes from the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Judaic Art Gallery and incorporates elements of European, Jewish and Palestinian design in a theme of peaceful coexistence.
The menorah’s presence in the South also serves to simultaneously stress the ties between American and Israeli Jews and the strong present of Jewish life south of the Mason-Dixon line.
A second menorah was lit tonight by 82 year old Holocaust survivor Manfred Lindenbaum and his granddaughter Lauren.
The German born Lindenbaum, who was deported to Poland during the war and escaped to England on the Kindertransport, retraced his escape route last year in reverse on a bicycle, accompanied by his children and grandchildren.
Lindenbaum will be lighting a menorah designed by Holocaust survivor Erwin Thieberger, reminiscent of one that Thieberger made in Auschwitz out of cement nails and solder. According to the White House, the Thieberger menorah represents the ongoing battle for Jewish survival and is owned by the Leidman-Golub family of both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Several other special menorahs are featured on the White House website including one whose candles are held by miniature replicas of the Liberty Bell, a 9/11 solidarity menorah bearing a woven American flag motif honoring members of Shomrim who stood guard at Ground Zero, and a folding Spanish Portuguese menorah created after the Spanish Inquisition enabling its owners to hide the menorah after its use in order to avoid religious persecution.
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