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Tags: jewish heritage month | white house staffers | photo

Lack of Group Photo Irks Jewish White House Staffers

By    |   Friday, 07 June 2024 11:06 AM EDT

Some Jewish staffers at the White House reportedly were miffed that there was no photo scheduled in May to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month.

Celebrations of different cultures and ethnicities with East Room receptions, Rose Garden speeches, and a group photo with staffers from backgrounds being celebrated is customary, Politico noted Thursday.

Yet when May ended this year without a photo to celebrate Jewish heritage, several staffers vented their "disappointment and confusion," Politico reported.

"Especially at such a difficult moment, these opportunities can be helpful for building community, for supporting each other, and for showing unity against rising antisemitism," one of the administration officials said in a Signal group chat, the news outlet reported. "This is the case regardless of one's views of the conflict."

Though Jewish staffers didn't pose for a heritage month photo in May of 2021 or May of 2022 either, they did so in May 2023, when a photo was taken with second gentleman Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamila Harris and the first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president.

A second administration official in the Signal group chat said not taking a Jewish American Heritage Month staff photo in 2024 was not the same as not offering it in 2022 or 2021, given the context of the Oct. 7 attack, Politico reported.

"It is surprising and disappointing that we didn't get to take a photo," the official told Politico.

Jewish staffers were particularly hopeful that a group photo would happen this year given worries about the rise in antisemitism and a desire to show White House solidarity with the Jewish community.

According to Politico, as part of President Joe Biden's National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism, the White House encouraged all agencies to hold events in May celebrating Jewish Americans. 

White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson told Politico that Biden has "been aggressive in condemning the vicious surge of antisemitism we've witnessed since the Oct. 7 attacks."

"As the president said when he hosted Jewish American leaders — and administration appointees — in the Rose Garden last month: Jewish Americans belong," Patterson told Politico. "President Biden will continue to be outspoken in celebrating the heritage and legacy of Jewish Americans, who continue to enrich every single part of our life."

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Some Jewish staffers at the White House reportedly were miffed that there was no photo scheduled in May to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month.
jewish heritage month, white house staffers, photo
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2024-06-07
Friday, 07 June 2024 11:06 AM
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