National Menorah lighting

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Rabbi Levi Shemtov, left, executive vice president of American Friends of Lubavitch, kindles the first Chanukah candle on the National Menorah. Watching are White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, center, and Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, national director of American Friends of Lubavitch.Photo by Josh Marks
Rabbi Levi Shemtov, left, executive vice president of American Friends of Lubavitch, kindles the first Chanukah candle on the National Menorah. Watching are White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, center, and Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, national director of American Friends of Lubavitch.
Photo by Josh Marks

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough wished everyone a “Chag Chanukah sameach” on the Ellipse Sunday, where crowds gathered on the first night of Chanukah for the annual National Chanukah Menorah Lighting sponsored by American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad).

McDonough lit the shamash of the menorah, reported to be 30 feet high. He was joined in the lighting ceremony by Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, founding national director of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad), and Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the group’s executive vice president.


“Here, on the Ellipse, with the White House visible through its branches, the National Menorah powerfully affirms our diverse religious traditions as well as our shared values,” McDonough said.

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