The ceremony was attended by Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff – the first-ever spouse of a U.S. vice president professing Judaism

The White House celebrated Hanukkah

The ceremony was attended by Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff – the first-ever spouse of a U.S. vice president professing Judaism

President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband Doug Emhoff, celebrated the Jewish Holiday of Light at the White House on Wednesday evening.

Doug Emhoff took the opportunity to draw parallels between Jewish and American ideals. Noting that he considers it an honor for himself to become the first spouse of a vice president of Jewish descent in the history of the United States, Emhoff said: “Jewish history and Jewish values are an integral part of who we are as Americans. Jewish values are American values.”

Jews celebrate Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, in honor of the victory of the army of Judah Maccabee, a native of a noble family of priests, over the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes during the uprising in Judea in the 2nd century AD, and the subsequent restoration of the Jerusalem Temple.

The ceremony in honor of the fourth night of Hanukkah was attended by the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish.

In his speech, Joe Biden quoted Rabbi Aaron Glatt, who described Hanukkah as “Thanksgiving on Steroids,” and then recalled the recent outbreaks of anti-Semitism in the United States.

“We must resist the resurgence of this type of anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance and hatred,” the president said.

Former President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both professing Judaism, celebrated Hanukkah at the White House when Trump lived there.