WASHINGTON (JTA) — Yitzhak Perlman conducted the U.S. Navy Band at the lighting of the menorah on the National Mall.
Several thousand people packed the seats on the Ellipse in front of the White House in near-freezing temperatures Wednesday evening for the event run by American Friends of Lubavitch, a tradition of three decades.
Perlman, a pre-eminent violin virtuosi, performed two traditional Chanukah melodies with a pianist and then conducted the Navy band in "Oseh Shalom" and "God Bless America."
Jack Lew, the Orthodox Jewish director of the Office of Management and Budget, lit the candle.
Also attending were Washington Mayor-elect Vincent Gray; Jane Holl Lute, the deputy Homeland Security secretary; and Norman Eisen, until recently the top White House ethics counsel, as well as a number of Congress members.