Skip To Content
Israel News

Dreaming of a White House Hanukkah

President Bush’s national approval ratings may have hit rock bottom, but it’s safe to say he has a fan in 14-year-old Ariel Cohen.

Ariel was tapped to light the menorah at this year’s Hanukkah party, held Monday, on the fourth night of the holiday. She was picked for the gig after meeting Laura Bush when the first lady visited the Washington Children’s Hospital last year. At the time, Ariel was recovering from a pediatric stroke. The young girl asked if she could have a Hanukkah party at the White House and Bush reportedly said yes, if she worked hard on her recovery.

She was joined by her 11-year-old sister Alison and her parents, Dan and Rachel.

After the ceremony, President Bush praised Ariel, saying, “she did a wonderful job of saying the Hanukkah blessing and lighting the candles.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.