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Islington gives 700 Chanukah participants a big hug

On Sunday, December 10th, Islington Green was transformed into a Chanukah festival with participants enjoying doughnuts, kindling the menorah and singing festive tunes. People of all ages thronged to the event, danced to the music, with children excitedly making Chanukah crafts with Little Angel Theatre and Cass Art. 

Rabbi of Islington and event organiser, Rabbi Mendy Korer of Chabad Islington, led the lighting ceremony with greetings from the Mayor of Islington Cllr Gary Heather, Leader of Islington Council Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz and the Deputy Lieutenant of Islington representing His Majesty the King. The honour of lighting the first candle was lit by Superintendent Jack May-Robinson in recognition of the tireless work and efforts of Islington Police in keeping the Borough safe. 

Volunteers handed out free doughnuts, potato latkes, warm chocolate and tea on the, thankfully, dry and mildly cold evening. Brandishing glow sticks, the crowd got on to their feet and sung traditional chanukah songs, including prayers for peace in the world and danced to Sweet Chanukah (a remake of Sweet Caroline) and The Latke Recipe. 

Rabbi Mendy Korer said ‘This year is particularly poignant for the community to be able to come out and celebrate Chanukah proudly, feel welcomed and safe in Islington. It’s been a horrid past couple months for so many, Islington is giving you a big hug, we love you, this is your home’.

The 12th annual Islington Menorah Lighting was funded by Islington Council’s Local Initiative Fund and by private donors. Police and CST (Community Security Trust) were patrolling in force to ensure everyone felt safe and incident free.

Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Leader of Islington Council said: ‘Islington’s Chanukah festival was a fantastic celebration of light and joy, and we’re honoured and proud to host it once again in the heart of our borough.

Islington has always been a place where communities come together, and it continues to be today.’

Video of the dancing:

Should you require a high-resolution photo, please contact us with the attached photo.  Photo credits to: @shotbyschwartz

Notes to editors:

  • Chabad House in Islington was established in August 2011 by Rabbi Mendy and Hadasa Korer. Chabad Islington is the only Jewish organisation in the borough and has been successfully rebuilding the Jewish community that has been dormant since the 60s. They serve a community composed primarily of young families and professionals. It hosts Shabbat and holiday services, social events, walking tours, and teaches various classes.

  • Chabad Lubavitch is the largest Jewish outreach organisation in the world, active in more than 80 countries. Our primary focus is in the Jewish community where it has been lauded by all segments for its innovative and compassionate programs. Chabad provides social service, educational and outreach programs. It has no affiliation with any political organisation.

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