For the eighth and final time, President Obama and the first lady welcomed guests to the White House for a Hanukkah reception.

Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish rebellion, led by Judah Maccabee and his brothers against their Greek-Syrian oppressors. After their victory, Judah Maccabee hoped to light an eternal flame to rededicate the Second Temple in Jerusalem, but could only find one vessel of oil. Led by faith, the Jewish people lit the oil, and according to sacred texts, it burned for eight days.

Today, Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah by lighting a candle on a menorah each night. The Obamas and the White House marked the occasion — this time with two Hanukkah receptions in the East Room.

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Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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