Koshering the White House Kitchen for Hanukkah
Watch the kitchen at the White House undergo a transformation into a kosher kitchen. This entails wrapping existing kitchen surfaces and a complete separation of milk and meat, as well as the use of kosher ingredients and utensils that have only been used for kosher. This allows the kitchen to prepare and serve a completely kosher meal for this year’s Hanukkah celebration at the White House. Local Rabbi’s were also on hand to oversee the koshering.
President Obama Speaks at an Afternoon Hanukkah Reception
As the Festival of Lights draws to a close this year, President Obama suggests taking one last chance to think about all the miracles big and small that we’ve been lucky enough to experience in our own lives. December 5, 2013.
President Obama Speaks at an Evening Hanukkah Reception
“It’s a story that has been repeated countless times throughout Jewish history. And as we light the candles tonight, we’re reminded that we’re still writing new chapters in that story today. In 1922, Abraham and Hayyah Ettinger donated this menorah to their congregation in a small town that’s now the Czech Republic. And tragically, the Ettingers — and their prayer hall — were lost in the Holocaust.
Yet even in the face of tragedy, Jewish communities around the world kept alive a light that would not be extinguished — the hope that freedom would triumph over tyranny. And tonight, we’re honored that the menorah that once belonged to the Ettingers will be lit by two Holocaust survivors from the former Czechoslovakia — Margit Meissner and Martin Weiss. (Applause.) The triumph they represent and the triumph this menorah represents, the progress that it represents, the notion that we can join together here tonight reminds us that we can never take our blessings for granted and that we always need to keep working for peace and the freedom that we seek.
And that’s why we continue to stand up for our values around the world. That’s why we stand alongside and partner with those allies who share those values, including the State of Israel. Together with our Israeli friends, we’re determined to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) And we’re testing whether it’s possible through diplomacy to achieve that goal, understanding that we have to remain vigilant.
For the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. And key parts of the program — (applause) — key parts of the program will be rolled back, even though the toughest of our sanctions remain in place. And that’s good for the world and that’s good for Israel. Over the coming months, we’re going to continue our diplomacy with the goal of achieving a comprehensive solution that deals with the threat of Iran’s nuclear weapons once and for all. And through it all, as always, our commitment to Israel and its security will remain iron clad and unshakeable. (Applause.)
Building a future of security and peace is not easy. But the story of Hanukkah, of survivors like Margit and Martin — leaders like Nelson Mandela — remind us that those who came before us overcame even greater obstacles than those that we face. So let’s take strength from their struggles and from their sacrifice. Let’s give thanks for miracles large and small. Let’s recommit ourselves to building a future that shines with hope and freedom and peace. I want to thank all of you for the contributions you’ve made to communities across the country and the many friends who have been so supportive to Michelle and myself during these years.
And with that, I want to welcome Rabbi Joshua Sherwin, a lieutenant in the United States Navy, to say a blessing.”