In 2006, Congress turned Jewish Heritage Month from an idea into a law. In 2010, President Obama hosted the very first Jewish Heritage gala of sorts at the White House, which featured the dulcet tones of Regina Spektor, some shmancy food, some A-list Jewish attendees, and an implied make-up for those who’d been snubbed a coveted White House Hanukkah Party invite.
Allison Hoffman obviously made the cut and here’s just a smidgeon of what she wrote about the inaugural event, hosted on a hot May afternoon in 2010:
There was air-conditioning in the grand hall behind the north Portico, and the Marine Band played a selection of Gershwin and Irving Berlin favorites from the (Jewish) American Songbook. There was a bar serving everything from club soda to Kedem, and waiters circulating with trays of kosher goodies. Press wasn’t allowed in to this portion of the day, but food writer (and Tablet Magazine contributor) Joan Nathan told The Scroll that the crew from Dahan Caterers put out an Israeli-inflected hors d’oeuvres smorgasbord that included eggplant salad, sweet couscous, and fresh tomatoes.
The event carried on for two more years and was set to have its fourth iteration next month until…sequestration robbed it of its life force today. That’s right, folks. The collection of journalists, sports stars, Supreme Court justices, titans of industry, cultural influencers, and political operatives will have to wait till next year. (Supposing there is money on hand to let 2014 happen at all.)
At least there will still be White House tours, right? Actually no.