Hanukkah Brunch held at Government House

The first of the holiday parties was the lovely and enjoyable "Hanukkah (Chanukah) Brunch" co-hosted by the charming and friendly hosts, Governor and Mrs. Martin O'Malley, and joint hosts, Phyllis and Leonard Attman and the Attman family, at the stately Government House, located in Annapolis, Maryland.

With the very thoughtful involvement of the above hosts and co-hosts, Hanukkah at the Government House is always a great holiday event attended by many politicos and active community members from throughout Maryland as well as four generations of the philanthropic Attman family.

Despite the freezing-cold windy weather, approximately 250 Hanukkah revelers enjoyed the graciousness of our hosts, comfort of the Government House plus the lavish display of delicious food. There was everything imaginable for a Sunday brunch, prepared with heartfelt feeling and festively displayed on a long dining table, by Monroe Zeffert, Zeffert & Gold, Baltimore caterers.

Izzy Patoka, the governor's top-notch executive director of the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives, initiated the interesting program agenda proceeded by Leonard Attman, coordinator, who emceed the program for this Thanksgivukah holiday event.

Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt and Rabbi Ronald Shulman participated with the Hanukkah program.

A magnificent Menorah, designed/created by artist, Zachary Oxman, was displayed. The Menorah was a gift from Phyllis and Leonard Attman several years ago, when they learned the State of Maryland Government House had no Menorah. In celebration of their anniversary, Phyllis and Lennie gifted this beautiful and meaningful Menorah to Government House, to be used by Governor and Mrs. Martin O'Malley. This year, Phyllis and Len celebrated a fab milestone 60th wedding anniversary. We all extend a hearty Mazel Tov to this very family oriented philanthropic couple!

This Menorah, known as "The Festival of Lights," was first created for the White House collection of American Crafts and presently resides in the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The festival of Hanukkah denotes religious freedom. The eight candles lit on the Menorah, one candle for each of the eight nights, represent the torch of justice and hope.

The following had the prestigious opportunity to light one of the eight candles on the Menorah at the joyous celebration this day:

Candle #1: Governor Martin O'Malley and First Lady, Katie O'Malley

Candle #2: Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and his wife, Karmen Walker Brown

Candle #3: The Attman Family

Candle #4: Local Government Officials

Candle #5: Israeli Embassy and White House Representatives

Candle #6: Jewish Councils and Federations

Candle #7: Judicial Officers

Candle #8: Members of the Maryland General Assembly

Note: A Hanukkah gift to all the guests this day included not only an interesting program and delicious brunch, but also an attractive yarmulke (skull cap) for the men as well as an added bonus, all the guests received an interesting book by Hirsh Goldberg titled, "It All Started With a Deli: The Attmans of Lombard Street."

This is a very informative legacy of business and success featuring all the Attmans, beginning with humble, dedicated, charitable mom and dad, their family-oriented, religious, dedicated, honest and philanthropic three sons, Edward (Eddie), Seymour and Leonard (Lennie) and their children and extended families. This is a fab book about the generous Attman dynasty, complete with pictures. The forward to this book was written by family friend of many years, Governor Martin O'Malley.

Another note: This book, authored and written by a Jewish author, about a prominent Jewish family, was published by a Catholic Institution the Apprentice House-Loyola University of Maryland, celebrated at this Hanukkah party with an Irish Governor! This columnist adds, "Thank God for America, the land of the free!"

A very thoughtful meaningful holiday gift given to the Governor and his wife, from Phyllis and Leonard Attman, was a unique collection of mementos of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States in commemoration of the 50th year of his shocking assassination. This collection includes "The Kennedy Years." A limited edition of only 350 in the world.

Kol Chaim orchestra provided the enjoyable holiday music.

Gargantuan thanks to Governor and Mrs. Martin O'Malley, joint hosts Phyllis and Leonard Attman and the Attman family, Izzy Patoka and the staff of Government House, Kol Chaim orchestra and caterer Monroe Zeffert for this lovely enjoyable holiday party. Todah Rabbah! And, L'Chaim!

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