Washington - Thousands Help Celebrate Chanukah On the Ellipse in Washington [photos-video]
Washington - The National Menorah was lit earlier this evening on The White House Ellipse in Washington, DC, in the presence of senior administration officials, Members of Congress, dignitaries and communal leaders. Over 4,000 tickets were distributed to the event, which progressed despite inclement weather earlier in the day and high winds challenging the logistic systems.
The menorah has been lit every year since 1979 and has since enjoyed the particiption of the president, ambassadors, members of congress and international celebrities and public figures.
White House Budget Chief Jacob Lew brought greetings on behalf of the President, the Vice President and their families. Washington, DC, mayor-elect Vince Gray also dropped by to wish a Happy Chanukah to all those in attendance.
Watch below nearly 1 hour of video footage of the event.
The United States Navy Band performed patriotic marches and special Chanukah melodies before thousands of men and women of all ages and backrounds. A highlight of the event was certainly the special musical presentation by Mr. Itzhak Pelrman and Maestro Itche Meir Helfgot and Hankus Netsky on the piano. Mr. Perlman then conducted the US Navy Band for Oseh Shalom and the FInale of G-d Bless America, with Cantor Halfgot joined by Cantor Yaakov Motzen and National Menorah musical director Cantor Jeff Nadel.
The winners of the National Menorah Essay Contest, Liora Bushee - Hillel Academy, Milwaukee, WI and Chana Leah Altschule - Esformes Cheder Lubavitch, Chicago, IL, proudly read their winning entries.
But the show was certainly stolen by the appearance of Dreidelman, a large character who appeared to roars of applause and entertained the crowd by dancing to the song “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” and falling on…gimmel!
All were then treated to delicious hot latkes and donuts, and free menorahs and dreidels were distributed to the crowd. The event was sponsored by American Friends of Lubavitch in Washington, DC.
Photos by: Baruch Ezagui
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