Vice President Joe Biden is expected to participate in the lighting of the National Menorah Tuesday night, Dec. 16. He would be the highest executive branch official to take part in the annual Chanukah ceremony in front of the White House since President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
Officials at American Friends of Lubavitch, which coordinates the event, would only confirm a “very senior administration official,” but sources tell the Washington Jewish Week that it is indeed the vice president. We will update the community as soon as official word comes from the White House and/or American Friends of Lubavitch.
The jumbo chanukiah stands on the Ellipse across from the White House. The event will begin at 4 p.m. and is scheduled to include holiday foods like latkes and sufganiot. The U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” will be among the musical entertainers.
The National Menorah was inaugurated in 1979.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, then the White House chief of staff, lit the menorah in 2011. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel lit the menorah in 2009 when he was chief of staff.