Reform not invited to White House Hanukkah celebration

White House Hanukkah party leaves out J Street, Reform leaders.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Trump at Hanukkah reception in the White House
Trump at Hanukkah reception in the White House
Reuters

US President Donald Trump did not invite leaders of the Reform movement or J Street officials to the White House Hanukkah party, CBS News reported.

J Street, a leftist advocacy group, in August blasted Trump as being "ignorant" after he refused to endorse a two-state solution.

On Tuesday, a day before the much-anticipated statement by the president recognizing Jerusalem, Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the largest organization affiliated with the Reform movement, released a statement criticizing the president for altering the status quo vis-à-vis Jerusalem without a peace deal including the Palestinian Authority. Jacobs later toned down the reaction after a long conversation with Isaeli Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan.

According to The New York Times, Democrats in Congress were not invited to the party, either.

"It's deeply unfortunate that the White House Hanukkah Party — a bipartisan event bringing together Jewish and non-Jewish leaders alike to celebrate the Festival of Lights since 2001 — has turned into a partisan affair under this administration," Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-New York, said in a statement, according to the report.

Attending the Thursday night event was Holocaust survivor Louise Lawrence-Israëls, whom Trump introduced by saying he is "deeply honored" that she came to "share the evening with us and make a few remarks."

"The first three years of her life were spent in hiding in an attic out of Amsterdam, a row house in Amsterdam — amazing story and amazing situation to be in," he said. "Her family could not light the candles that we’re about to light this evening, but they lit them in their hearts."

"Today, our nation is stronger, and our world is more full of promise — because of the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the faith that burns so brightly in your hearts."

Lawrence-Israëls spoke immediately after Trump's speech.




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