Spreading the light of Chanukah

Chaya Singer lighting the channukiah

The South African Zionist Federation, in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish Report, hosted a meaningful Community Chanukah Celebration on 13 December via Zoom.

People tuned in from all over the world for the celebration of unity and solidarity on the 4th night of Chanukah. It was a great opportunity to spread the light of Chanukah and celebrate the miracle of the survival of the Jewish people – in ancient times and today! It was also an opportunity to enjoy the incredible music of Yudi Cohen, internationally renowned chazzan and opera singer.

Special guests included Yair Lapid, Chairman of the Yesh Atid party and leader of the opposition in Israel, and Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Both shared some personal reflections on Chanukah and sent warm words of encouragement and friendship to the Jewish community here in South Africa.

Both Israeli dignitaries also had strong messages for the South African government, hoping that our government would be cognisant of the recent developments in the Middle East with the normalisation deals between Israel, Arab countries and beyond to North Africa. They noted the shift in the region and challenged our government to take a lead and be an honest broker in the negotiations towards peace. They said it was time for SA to decide if it wants to be a partner and a positive force in the changing region.

Candle lighting was done by special guests including Warren Goldstein — Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Shaun Zagnoev — Chairman SA Jewish Board of Deputies, Chaya Singer — Executive Director SA Zionist Federation — Cape Council and Adina Roth — Jewish educator with B’tocham Education.

Chaya Singer gave an inspiring message of hope, highlighting the spirit of the Jewish people through the ages. She said, ‘Tonight, Jewish families in South Africa and around the world, unite to light the menorah, symbol of hope, emblem of the State of Israel, and we take strength during this time of isolation, in commemorating our resilience as a nation”.

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Published in the print edition of the February 2021 issue. Download the February 2021 issue PDF here.

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