WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday oversaw his final Hanukkah receptions at the White House, where a menorah owned by the family of late Israeli President Shimon Peres was lit.
Peres' son, Chemi, and granddaughter, Mika Almog, attended the ceremony Wednesday afternoon. Another celebration was held at 7:35 p.m. EST.
"Everybody in America can understand the spirit of this tradition -- proudly practicing our religion, whatever it might be -- and defending the rights of others who do the same," Obama said at the afternoon event.
"The world lost my friend [Peres] this year, it lost a keeper of our collective conscience, but we could not be more honored today to be joined by his beloved family."