Drip, drip, hooray! Community celebrates Chanukah in Trafalgar Square

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Drip, drip, hooray! Community celebrates Chanukah in Trafalgar Square

Hundreds braced the cold and rain to mark the festival of lights in Trafalgar Square on Monday.

Hundreds of people braced the cold and rain to celebrate Chanukah in Trafalgar Square on Monday night.

Attending the event, the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said London had “been through a lot”, with Covid and now with an economic crisis, but praised the “selflessness of Jewish keyworkers, volunteers, synagogues, and community organisations”.

He said: “It was truly an honour to join members of London’s Jewish communities tonight in Trafalgar Square as we lit the menorah in celebration of Chanukah.”

Senior Masorti Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg lit the Chanukiah and led attendees in prayer, while Jewish community leaders including Jewish Leadership Council chair Keith Black, Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl, London Jewish Forum’s Adrian Cohen, and joint JLC chief executive Claudia Mendoza made speeches.

The giant menorah, celebrating the Jewish festival of lights, will remain lit up at the Central London landmark until 26 December, with one of its lights being lit every day.

Numbers were down on 2019, the last Chanukah in the Square before the pandemic, when observers estimated that 4,500 people attended. The event is organised between Chabad-Lubavitch, the JLC, and the London Jewish Forum.

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