The Biden White House is planning a ‘last-minute’ Hanukkah party, reports say

US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden
Joe Biden and his wife, Jill. Getty/Mandel Ngan
  • The Biden White House is planning an in-person Hanukkah party for next week.
  • The Times of Israel reports the event will go ahead on December 1, despite COVID-19 concerns.
  • The Hanukkah party has been a White House tradition since 2001.

The Biden White House plans an in-person Hanukkah party for next week, reports The Times of Israel.

Invitations to this year’s party were only sent out on Wednesday, The Times of Israel said. The Hanukkah festival starts on Sunday, November 28.

This year, concerns remain about holding the party in person with the pandemic still ongoing, reports The Times of Israel, but the White House event is set to take place December 1.

The Hanukkah party has been a White House tradition since 2001 when it was first hosted by George W. Bush. The guest list usually includes American Jewish politicians, organization heads, and school and yeshiva deans.  

Jewish musicians are also often in attendance, while both kosher and non-kosher food is served.

Hanukkah is an eight-day festival that commemorates the reconquest of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Second Temple at the end of the Maccabean revolt. It is marked by the lighting of the eight-branched menorah, along with songs and food.

Last year, the Trump administration’s decision to hold a Hanukkah party at the White House in person caused controversy due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning against it.

US President Joe Biden has recently attended more in-person events since receiving his Pfizer booster jab in late September.

Biden and first lady Jill Biden spent Thanksgiving at a house owned by billionaire businessman David Rubenstein on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts.

Thanksgiving on the Massachusetts island is a long-standing tradition for the Biden family. However, last year was an exception, with the president and his family staying in Delaware amid COVID-19 concerns.