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Hanukkah in the White House 2001

November 26, 2013 by Hannah Abney

This week we celebrate a multitude of blessings with our families around the Thanksgiving table. And for people of the Jewish faith, this week also marks the start of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

President and Mrs. Bush commemorated Hanukkah each year in the White House. On December 10, 2001, they hosted the first official White House Hanukkah with members of their staff and some of their children. The Bush Center’s Home for the Holidays: Christmas at the White House 2001 special exhibit features the menorah President Bush lit that year. The silver Hanukkah lamp was the first menorah to be lit by an American president in the residence of the White House. It was made in the 19th Century in the Ukraine and loaned to the White House by The Jewish Museum in New York in 2001.

The menorah will be on display through January 5, 2014. Learn more about the special exhibit and holiday programming

The Bush Center team wishes the people of Jewish faith around the world a happy Hanukkah!

"Tonight, for the first time in American history, the Hanukkah menorah will be lit at the White House residence. It's a symbol that this house may be a temporary home for Laura and me, but it's the people's house, and it belongs to people of all faiths."

- President George W. Bush, December 10, 2001


Author

Hannah Abney
Hannah Abney

Hannah Abney directs strategic communications and messaging for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, leading a team responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies that help advance the Bush Center’s work in developing leaders, fostering policy, and taking action to save and change lives.

Prior to joining the Bush Center, she led public relations activities for consumer and non-profit brands at The Richards Group.  Abney also led communications efforts  at a national retail trade association in Washington, DC, and served in the George W. Bush Administration in the Vice President’s Office.

A native of Milwaukee, WI, she is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University (B.A., Music) and lives in Dallas with her husband and young sons. 

Full Bio