The White House is seeking menorahs with unique histories and stories for this year’s White House Hanukkah party.
On November 11, Matt Nosanchuk, the White House liaison to the Jewish community, posted an entry on the White House website requesting ideas for menorahs, explaining that it was the first time that the White House was publishing such a plea.
“We’re looking for a special and unique menorah that tells a story to be part of our candle lighting ceremony,” Nosanchuk wrote. “A story about family, about community, about the long Jewish cultural tradition in the United States, Israel, or around the world.”
The deadline for submissions is November 20, and the White House will not pay for transportation or insurance, and donating the menorah does not guarantee an invitation to the party. However, menorahs not used at the party may be featured on the White House website.
President George W. Bush started the first formal government Hanukkah celebrations, but President Bill Clinton’s White House hosted Hanukkah parties for Jewish staff and some invitees.
In recent years, the Obama administrations have used menorahs from a synagogue damaged in Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, and created by students at a Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem that was attacked by vandals, in 2014.
The White House has yet to announce the date of this year’s White House parties; however, in recent years, the White House has hosted two on the same day to accommodate more guests.
This year, the first night of Hanukkah is December 6.