Dovid Moritz had a starring role Tuesday at the lighting of the National Menora near the White House on the first night of Chanuka.
The fourth-grader at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh read his winning essay on the meaning of Chanuka before the crowd of people in attendance. Rabbi Levi Shemtov, executive president of American Friends of Lubavitch, who presided over the menora lighting, accompanied him.
The ceremony, started in 1979, honors the eight-day Jewish holiday. The national menora was lit Tuesday, Dec. 11, by Jack Lew, the White House budget manager.
Moritz, 9, won the National Menora Essay Contest. His essay was chosen the best among several thousand entries from Jewish elementary school students across the country. The theme was “What Chanuka means to me.”
Moritz was accompanied to Washington, D.C., by his parents, Dr. Michael and Gila Moritz. They found out Dec. 7 that their son had won the contest. His mother said that she was proud of her son’s reading.
“It was so sweet,” she said. The rabbi asked her son if he was nervous as he got on the podium, she said. His short response: “Possibly.”