JewishInsider Coverage - White House Hanukkah Parties - 2015
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
WHITE HOUSE SCENE: The White House hosted their annual Hanukkah parties yesterday. So many JI readers were in attendance that some joked we were only going to run a list of names for today's Daily Kickoff. One humorous aspect of the Hanukkah parties each year is the line outside the White House prior. Practically everyone has to wait in line, even members of Congress, and it's where folks first see who else is attending the event. For some the line is their version of a new Apple product launch, while others begin arriving only an hour or so before the gates actually open.
As guests entered the East Wing they were serenaded by the Maccabeats who were joined, at times, by Jewish pop singer Lipa Schmeltzer who is also known as "Jewish Elvis" and "the Lady Gaga of Hasidic music." The food was under the strict rabbinical supervision of Rabbi Levi Shemtov and all meats were "Glatt Kosher -- Chassidishe Shechitah" including the famous White House lamb chops. The lamb, we were told, was slaughtered specially last week in the President's hometown of Chicago. William Daroff's night was made when he discovered the platter of kosher vegan cookies.
Notable guests at this year's Hanukkah party included Alan and Judy Gross, who the President gave a shoutout to. It was at last year's Hanukkah party that Gross' freedom from Cuba was announced. Vice President Joe Biden stopped by to take some selfies. One mainstay of the annual Hanukkah party is the proliferation of camera wielding participants, almost as if our good friends at CSPAN aren't filming and all record of the event is at risk of extinction. Speaking of which, here is full video of the afternoon Hanukkah reception [CSPAN] • And the evening reception [CSPAN]
For people who tell you they 'hung out' with the President and the First Lady at the White House yesterday, this is what it's really like for those who spent their entire time at the party just reserving a spot on the rope line. As guests begged for selfies, the President told them "I can't take pictures guys, I'd be here all day and I got work to do but have fun at the party and try the 'latkes' -- they're great!" [YouTube]
TOP TWEET: @JeffreyGoldberg -- "The White House Hanukkah party is @MattNosanchuk's D-day, but he somehow manages." [Twitter] • And if you want to see why, check out the lists below... Congrats to Matt Nosanchuk and his team for another Hanukkah party in the books.
SPOTTED at Party #1: Three generations of Shemtovs -- Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, and Menachem Shemtov; President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Mrs. Rhoda Dermer, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Israel Defense Attaché Yaacov Ayish, Alan and Andrea Solow, Abe Foxman, Elliot Brandt, Malcolm Hoenlein, Stephen Greenberg, Robert and Louise Cohen, John Ruskay and Robin Bernstein, Lillian Pincus and Jon Pincus, Jonathan Kessler, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Sol and Esther Werdiger, Rabbi Steven Wernick, Meredith Wernick, Matt Dorf, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, Allen Fagin, Matthew Berger, Rabbi Jonah Pesner and Dana S. Gershon, Matthew Grossman, Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, Joseph Stamm, Ezra Friedlander, Jordana Cutler.
Mark Levin, Mark Joseph Stern, Jane Eisner, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, David Kalb, Bill and Raquel Gershon, Debbie Moed, Suzanne Doft, Caren Yanis, Lea Yanis, Louis and Manette Mayberg, Rabbi Jack Moline, Lisa Eisen, David Rittberg, Lisa and Brian Cohen, Ami Eden, Ira Forman, Howard Kohr, Sheila Katz, Hal Ossman, David Makovsky, Don Makovsky, Adam Teitelbaum, Nathan Lewin, Alyza Lewin and Eliezer Halbfinger, Gidi and Betty Grinstein, Shawn Evenhaim, Shoham Nicolet, Ari Mittleman, Robin Schatz, Michael Wilner, Sarah Arkin, David Feinman, Laura Adkins, Mikhael Smits, Adam Lehman, Hilary Krieger.
DWS AFTER PARTY: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz held her annual Hanukkah party in the Jefferson Room of the Library of Congress, which is typically reserved for members of Congress. The Library has a policy prohibiting flames of any sort so a lightbulb menorah was used instead. Kosher-style latkes, wine, coffee and dessert was served. One JI reader noted that the Israeli Amb. typically speaks at this event but was unable to make it this year. [Pic]
--Spotted: Ira Forman, Robert Saferstein, Matt Nosanchuk, Tiffany Harris, Rep. Ted Deutch, Greg Rosenbaum, Rob Eshman, Rabbi Naomi Levy, Laura Adkins, Florida State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, Orit Frenkel, Claude G.B. Fontheim, Rabbi Michael Latz, Ezra Friedlander, Cheryl Saferstein, Rep. Lois Frankel, Rep. Eliot Engel, Steve Bittel, William Daroff, Lily Daroff, Liz Leibowitz, Shelley Rood, Barbara Weinstein, Steve Rabinowitz, and Aaron Keyak.