THE spirit of Chanukah took over Sydney this week with a plethora of communal celebrations catering for all ages.
Maroubra Synagogue ushered in the first night of Chanukah on Sunday evening with a menorah lighting and a concert from Mount Sinai students at Westfield Eastgardens.
Crowds also flocked to “Chanukah on the Green” hosted by Chabad North Shore in St Ives, while Dover Heights Shule’s “Chanukah in the Park” saw guests enjoying food stalls, jumping castles, live music and face painting.
On Monday evening, Jewish House CEO Rabbi Mendel Kastel lit a giant menorah adorned with cupcakes in front of hundreds of attendees in Bondi Junction.
“It was a fantastic event with a huge turnout and everybody enjoyed the cupcakes and doughnuts. It was a great atmosphere,” said Rabbi Kastel.
Other highlights of the event included a storyteller, a DJ and take-home gifts for kids.
Chabad Double Bay’s “Chanukah at the Bay” drew a large crowd on the third night of Chanukah, despite the wet weather.
“We are really honoured to be hosting this wonderful event. It really brings the entire community together to celebrate Chanukah in a big way,” Chabad Double Bay director Rabbi Yanky Berger told The AJN.
Those present were treated to a grand BMX show, dance performances, and a fireworks display.
The Chanukah festivities continue in Sydney with “Chanukah in the City” at Martin Place tonight (Thursday) hosted by Chabad Youth NSW.
Rabbi Elimelech Levy from Chabad Youth NSW is encouraging the community to come to Martin Place for this celebration, which will include the lighting of a 10-metre tall menorah and a concert from New York singer Eli Marcus.
“We are really excited and want to encourage everyone to come out as that’s what Chanukah is all about. It’s a really important message for our kids that we celebrate Chanukah openly,” said Rabbi Levy.
“We are living in a time when we are so lucky to be able to celebrate openly. It gives a sense of pride and strength to the community.”
See photos in this week’s AJN.