Happy Hanukkah to all Hackney residents
Hackney again celebrated the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, with music, speeches and the illumination of a specially built 12ft menorah in Town Hall Square on Sunday.
Following the illumination of the first menorah light, residents assembled inside the Town Hall to enjoy hot drinks and doughnuts and hear traditional Jewish songs from pianist and singer Miles De Cruz, accompanied by members of Simon Marks Jewish Primary School Choir.
Those in attendance heard speeches from Mayor Philip Glanville, Deputy Speaker Anya Sizer, Deputy Mayor Anntoinette Bramble and Rabbi Gluck OBE.
The menorah will stand in Hackney Town Hall Square for the eight days of Hanukkah, with an additional light illuminated every evening.
Hanukkah and the Menorah are a symbolic reminder about the importance and power of light to dispel the darkness and illuminate our streets and communities. While this was a moment to come together with our diverse Jewish communities, it is also an important and positive message that all Hackney residents can draw inspiration from. During these difficult economic times, with many of our residents facing challenges through the rising cost of living, it is more relevant than ever.
It was a pleasure to come together at the beginning of Hanukkah and host the lighting of the menorah in the Town Hall Square. Despite the cold weather and rain our Hackney residents came out to join our diverse Jewish Community. The lighting of the menorah candle today and throughout Hanukkah symbolises hope. It enables us to reflect and embrace the fact that no matter what happens today, there is hope for tomorrow, especially as so many residents are facing such a challenging time. It was a joy to listen to the fantastic singing of the Simon Marks Primary School in the Town Hall to celebrate Hanukkah.
Thank you to all our residents here today who have braved the cold and wet weather to come together and celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive borough and our Hanukkah celebration is another fantastic example of Hackney’s incredible community spirit. Thank you to Rabbi Gluck OBE for promoting harmony in our borough and beyond with his international humanitarian work. He has done an amazing job of representing and speaking out on behalf of the Haredi Jewish community, and we are proud to have him as a valuable member of our community .
Over the eight nights of Hanukkah, one light becomes many lights. Even in our darkest times, the light sees us through. It is in our hands, to illuminate our streets and our society. That's the true message of Hanukkah.