A 12-FOOT menorah will shine brightly against the city’s night sky in Federation Square this Chanukah as Melburnians of all backgrounds are invited to celebrate all that unites us during the eight-day Pillars of Light festival.
Set to be launched by Lord Mayor Sally Capp on Thursday, December 10, each evening will see a diverse program of guest speakers, dignitaries, artistic performers, cultural groups and sportspeople entertain, with representatives from the Muslim, Vietnamese, Indigenous and Chinese communities.
The giant menorah art installation, organised by the ARK Centre and principal partner Gandel Philanthropy will be on display throughout the entirety of Chanukah. The festival is supported by a number of organisations including Federation Square, City of Melbourne, AFL, Museums Victoria and Victorian Multicultural Commission.
“The message of Chanukah is that a little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness,” said ARK Centre’s Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann.
“This year’s Chanukah celebrates so much more – the sharing of light, of hope, and of emerging out of darkness; something that is so relevant, so necessary and so meaningful in our current climate.”
Reflecting on the sense of inclusivity imbued into the festival, Rabbi Kaltmann hopes that the sharing of light will “build bridges and create a greater sense of connection and belonging in the heart of one of our best-recognised ‘communities’ – the CBD that has suffered from isolation during these times of heavy restrictions”.
CEO of Gandel Philanthropy Vedran Drakulic concurred, adding, “The whole of Australia has gone through a very challenging year, but especially the state of Victoria and all our fellow Melburnians.
“Our aim … is to bring some joy and some light into the lives of weary Melburnians, give them a sense of hope and a vision of a brighter future.”
The Pillars of Light festival begins at 7.30pm on Thursday, December 10. For more information, or to watch online, visit fedsquare.com/events/pillars-of-light.