President Obama has released his Chanukah message, in which he states that the holiday teaches that "faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain us in difficult times and help us overcome even the greatest odds":
Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all who are celebrating Hanukkah around the world. The Hanukkah story of the Maccabees and the miracles they witnessed reminds us that faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain us in difficult times and help us overcome even the greatest odds.
Hanukkah is not only a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but for people of all faiths to celebrate the common aspirations we share. As families, friends and neighbors gather together to kindle the lights, may Hanukkah’s lessons inspire us all to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, to find light in times of darkness, and to work together for a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow.
Meanwhile, we’ve got a few details on the much-discussed Chanukah party at the White House next Wednesday, according to a White House official. The University of Maryland Jewish a cappella group Kol Sasson will perform at the kosher event, and the children of a U.S. soldier deployed overseas will light the candles on, as earlier reported, a menorah created in 1873 on loan from the Jewish Museum of Prague.
The White House, as noted in the New York Times article Ami linked to below, says that 550 guests have been invited to the Dec. 16 event, and in the Times piece, administration officials point to records that the most number of guests at a George W. Bush Chanukah party was 584.