President Barack Obama hosted his final Chanuka reception at the White House where a menorah owned by the family of late Israeli President Shimon Peres was lit.
The menorah is one preserved during the Holocaust by the Waldens, the family of Peres’ son-in law, and was used for years at family Hanukkah lightings.
“The menorah survived the Holocaust and was carried from Poland, to France, and finally, to Israel by the family of the Ninth President Peres’ son-in-law, Professor Rafi Walden,” said the statement. “The late Ninth President Shimon Peres, who was raised on Jewish values and traditions at the knee of his grandfather, Rabbi Zvi Melzer, lit the Hanukkah candles every year, and made sure that this special menorah held a place of honor in the Walden-Peres family.”
Peres’ son, Chemi, and granddaughter, Mika Almog, attended the ceremony, which you can watch below. The service was run by Rabbi Steven Exler of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. (Skip to the 45 minute mark)
The White House will also host an evening Chanuka reception starting at 7:35 p.m. EST, which OnlySimchas News will stream live online.