April 23 2014 Latest news:
by Rory Brigstock-Barron & Syma Mohammed
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Hundreds took to Islington Green and one of Hackney’s best known rabbis was invited to Downing Street as Chanukah celebrations took place in both boroughs.
Menorahs were lit on December 1 as Chabad-Lubavich, the worldwide Jewish movement, hosted the third lighting event.
Mayor of Islington Cllr Barry Edwards, MP Jeremy Corbyn, and Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, were all invited.
More than 300 people came to celebrate the festival, warming up with hot cocoa, doughnuts and potato latke.
Cllr Edwards said: “It was the first time I’d been to the festival celebrations but it was really enjoyable.
“We’re a very mulitcultural community and I’m happy to celebrate the various different festivals as it brings the community together.”
Meanwhile Abraham Pinter, rabbi of Yesodey Hatorah Synagogue in Amhurst Park in Stamford Hill, attended a reception hosted by prime minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.
The rabbi, of Northdene Gardens, was the only member of the Charedi community to attend the event.
Traditionally the Charedi community hold their Chanukah celebrations at home.
He said: “It was a nice event. It was very enjoyable. What’s important about it is that minorities are recognised.
“Chanukah is a celebration of miracles and also of light. We light candles as a symbol of spreading light into the world.
“Historically the Charedi community was a much smaller community here.
‘‘Now 50 per cent of Jewish children being born are Charedi.”
Rabbi Pinter also attended an intercultural event in Tottenham with members of the Metropolitan Police and MP David Lammy.
Chanukah celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and commemorates the victory of the people of Israel over the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to Hellenise the Holy Land.