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The First Night of Hanukkah – Larger than usual crowd attends Menorah lighting in Barrie

December 2023

A large, enthusiastic and festive crowd, attended Barrie City Hall on 7 December, for the annual Chanukah Fest and Grand Menorah Lighting, making a strong statement of Jewish pride and resilience. With the horrors of the 7 October terrorist attack on Israel still fresh in everyone’s mind, the assembled crowd of Jewish families and non-Jewish supporters celebrated the beginning of Hanukkah with the lighting of the first candle on a 9-foot-tall menorah outside City Hall.

Hosted by Chabad Jewish Centre, Barrie City Hall played host to Chanukah Fest and Grand Menorah Lighting. The lighting of the first Menorah candle by Rabbi Mendel Nakkar was followed by an assortment of entertainment for all ages, including Gelt Drop and parachuting dreidels dropped from a ladder truck from the Barrie Fire Department, Chanukah photo booth, face painting and balloon twisting artists, crafts for kids, raffles and prizes, as well as hot drinks and a selection of traditional Hanukkah foods.

Given the shockingly high incidents of antisemitism and pro-Palestinian protests calling for the destruction of Israel, rather than the destruction of Hamas, who are a bigger threat to the Palestinian people, it’s heartwarming to see this overt display of Jewish pride and perseverance. The support from the non-Jewish community is very much needed and appreciated during this difficult time for Jews in Canada and around the world.

Dignitaries attending included Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall, Andrea Khanjin, Member of Provincial Parliament for Barrie-Innisfil, Barrie Police Chief Rich Johnston and representatives for Doug Shipley, Member of Parliament for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte and Doug Downey, Member of Provincial Parliament for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.

Sources: Chabad Jewish Centre iholding Hanukkah menorah lighting (simcoe.com), Barrie Chanukah Fest and Grand Menorah Lighting | City of Barrie.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/the-first-night-of-hanukkah-larger-than-usual-crowd-attends-menorah-lighting-in-barrie/

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