Syrian refugees join Berlin Jewish community for last night of Hanukkah

Giant menorah in Brandenburg Square sends a message that ‘peace and tolerance are stronger than any dispute,’ says Chabad head in German capital.

By JTA
December 13, 2015 22:23
1 minute read.
People stand in front of a giant eight- branched candelabrum Menorah in front of the Brandenburg Gat

People stand in front of a giant eight- branched candelabrum Menorah in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on December 6, 2015 at the start of the holiday of the jewish religious festival of lights Hanukkah.. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / DPA / JÖRG CARSTENSEN GERMANY OUT)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

BERLIN - A group of Syrian refugee children — along with other Muslim groups in Berlin — joined with Jewish groups for a public Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony in the German capital.

On Sunday, the Syrian children joined with local Jewish kids to light the giant Chabad menorah at the Brandenburg Gate. Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, and representatives of Berlin mosques attended the ceremony.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


At a time when concerns have been raised about possible anti-Semitism among the 800,000 Muslim refugees now seeking asylum here, the joint celebrations sent a message “that peace and tolerance are stronger than any dispute,” said Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, the head of Chabad in Berlin, said at the ceremony.

“Those who spread fear have but one purpose, to destroy the unity and peace between cultures,” he said.

The annual celebration at Brandenburg Gate took place even though many Jews in Germany are hesitant to display religious symbols openly following an increase in anti-Semitic violence in Europe. Chabad claims its menorah is the biggest in Europe, and has been lighting it in a public ceremony at the historical landmark for 14 years.

German Minister of Culture Monika Grütters also lit the menorah. Other guests included the US ambassador to Germany, John Emerson, Israeli diplomat Avi Nir, and the ambassadors of Britain, Poland, Italy, Ukraine, Brazil and Denmark.

“It is very symbolic that here at the Brandenburg Gate, which symbolizes Germany’s greatest moments on one hand and its darkest on the other, we celebrate Hanukkah together,” Grutters said.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Also Sunday, a family of Turkish Muslim background joined with Jewish families in creating their own menorahs in a program at the Frankeluefer Synagogue in Berlin.

The following day, refugees from Iraq’s persecuted Yazidi community helped light a menorah at the American Jewish Committee office in Berlin. The Yazidis are a monotheistic sect that has been targeted for genocidal persecution by ISIS.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

‘Tevye the Dairyman’ played by Chaim Topol in the popular 1971 film, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’
November 16, 2018
At Fiddler on the Roof theatre, a man yells: 'Heil Hitler, Heil Trump'

By MICHAEL WILNER