This year’s Hanukkah celebration at the White House may be taking place eleven days before the official start of the Jewish holiday, but the spirit of the season can be felt in full effect. Stephen Odzer, CEO of YBT Industries, entrepreneur, and philanthropist is proud to accept the invitation extended by the White House for their 2019 festivities.
The History of Hanukkah in the White House
Despite the long-standing Jewish presence in America, it wasn’t until 2001 that the first official White House Hanukkah celebration took place. For the longest time, Christmas was the only winter holiday officially recognized by the White House. It wasn’t until 1973, when Jimmy Carter publicly lit the National Menorah in Lafayette Park, that the holiday was acknowledged in an official capacity.
Even regarding official recognition in the years since this event, it wasn’t until 2001 that the White House hosted their first White House Hanukkah Party, led by President George W. Bush. The event was marked by the lighting of a hundred-year-old menorah by President Bush, borrowed from the Jewish Museum of New York.
The Hanukkah reception has become an annual event at the White House, and the tradition continues this year, led by President Donald J. Trump.
Stephen Odzer’s Impact on the Jewish Community
Stephen Odzer has long strived to make a positive impact on his community, and it’s fair to say he continues to succeed. A consummate businessman, Stephen Odzer utilizes the profits he makes from his business to support charities that benefit the greater good.
Beginning a janitorial supply company at the age of only eighteen, Stephen Odzer grew his business into something much greater: a $15 million valued company in just thirteen years. Now, after over thirty years in the distribution industry, it’s fair to say Stephen Odzer has a fairly expert grasp on what it takes to make a successful business running smoothly.
Stephen Odzer‘s continued success allows him to focus on the betterment of others. He donates to several causes with varying goals, supporting the well-being of those from all walks of life. One cause Stephen Odzer is particularly passionate about is Bris Avrohom. Bris Avrohom is a non-profit that was established in 1979 in order to help acclimate Russian Jewish immigrants to America who had decided to settle in the metropolitan area.
Today, Bris Avrohom continues to help those of the Jewish faith discover their heritage and gain their footing in the world, with several branches located in New Jersey, New York, and Ukraine. According to its website, Bris Avrohom has touched the lives of more than 30,000 individuals and counting.
2019 Hanukkah Party
This year’s White House Hanukkah reception kicks off at 3 PM on December 11th. As a longtime supporter of the Republican Party, Stephen Odzer is thrilled to be able to attend alongside others who have made a significant positive impact in the Jewish community. Besides other philanthropists and businessmen such as himself, hundreds of Jewish American politicians, yeshiva deans, and organization heads will be in attendance.