12 Dec Chanukah highlights 2018
Shavei Israel communities enjoyed the atmosphere of Chanukah and fascinating activities organized in their countries. For many of them, this year’s experience was unique and unforgettable, such as Bnei Anousim of Cagliari, Italy, who celebrated this holiday with our new emissary in the region, Eitan Della Rocca, the first Jewish leader working with this community after a break of many years. On this, Eitan’s first visit to Sardinia, he managed to attract more than 40 participants to his Chanukah candle-lighting events that you can see at the video below and an amazing Shabbaton with prayer services, studying and delicious meals.
Our El Salvador community, lead by Rabbi Elisha Salas had rich and exciting Chanukah programming thanks to the OTS Amiel Bakehila mission of the Ministry of the Diaspora Affairs. Rabbi Israel Diamant delivered lectures devoted both to the history and customs of Chanukah and to the most relevant topics and challenges of modern life, such as transplantation, euthanasia, issues of personal growth. Ms. Deborah Jacubovsky organized a special event for local women, and of course, the community gathered together every night of the holiday for candle-lighting and celebrations with live music and meals.
Guatemala and Honduras communities, also lead by Rabbi Salas, shared their brightest moments of Chanukah with us including photos of their beautiful Chanukah menorahs.
One of the most exciting programs for this year was presented by Chile’s Bnei Anousim. The community’s Jason Ish, along with Rabbi Avraham Latapiat, prepared an amazing theatre program devoted to the history of Chanukah and the revolt of the Maccabees. Among other events that took place this week, was a special baking workshop and a party for kids including the distribution of sweets and gifts.
We received a nice update from the Cali community of Colombia and pictures of them celebrating Chanukah, lighting a big menorah and performing the mitzvah (torah commandment) of pirsumei nisa (publicizing the miracle).
Finally, some 200 members of the Bnei Menashe community of Israel took part in an annual Chanukah event devoted to the lost tribes coming back to Israel. The event took place at the Grand Court Jerusalem Hotel, and one its brightest moments was a traditional dance of Bnei Menashe wearing their national clothing. In the pictures below you can see them at the afternoon prayer service, and preparing for an emotional evening.