Congressional Hanukkah receptions are a long-standing tradition. In recent years, they were organized by Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
This year, in stark contrast to everything else coming out of Capitol Hill, Wasserman Schultz is joining forces with a Republican, Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, to co-host the annual reception, scheduled for December 13. Zeldin is one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress.
What makes this bipartisan event even more interesting is the political chasm separating its two co-hosts. Zeldin was one of President Trump’s earliest and strongest supports, and has publicly defended Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon, who has been accused of anti-Semitism. Wasserman Schultz, on the other hand, is among Trump’s most vocal critics and was a prime target of his attacks during the presidential campaign.
The congressional candle lighting will take place a week after Trump’s White House Hanukkah reception, which is expected to be light on Democratic participants.
Hanukkah Brings Rare Bipartisan Moment To Capitol Hill
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.