Sydney, 18 November, 2016
It was a pleasure to partake in pre-Chanukah celebration, a key event of Jewish community, hosted by NSW Government in NSW Parliament House on Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Chanukah is the eight-day long Jewish festival of Lights, celebrating the universal triumph of light over darkness, freedom over oppression and good over evil.
The program started with a formal welcome of guests by Gabrielle Upton MP, Attorney General of NSW which was followed by an invocation prayer by Rabbi Eli Cohen.
Rabbi Eli Cohen on the occasion greeted all the guests and said, “We are gathered today, to celebrate the upcoming festival of Chanukah, commemorating the victory of a small group of devoutly religious Jews against their Greek-Syrian oppressors 21 centuries ago”.
“Chanukah is a time when Jewish people around the world light the Menorah candelabra in the windows of our homes and in public spaces as a public display of our commitment to our faith and tradition.”
John Ajaka, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Multiculturalism welcomed all the guests and extended his best wishes to the Australian Jewish community for Chanukah.
Mike Baird, Premier of NSW also spoke on the occasion and extended his wishes to the community.
Leader of Opposition, Luke Foley was also present on the occasion and spoke about his experience of visiting Israel.
Lighting of the Menorah, is an important part of the celebration. Rabbi Eli Feldman, Rabbi Yossi Friedman, Rabbi Mendal Kastel, Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski, Rabbi Paul Lewin, Rabbi Cantor Yehosua Niasoff, Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin and Rabbi Yoram Ulman graced the ceremony of lighting the Menorah.
As a part of the celebration, Chanukah song was performed by Levi Niasoff.
Jeremy Spinach, President NSW Jewish Board of Deputies presented the closing remarks.
Traditional light refreshment was served to all the guests.
(Write up and most pics have been taken from http://publictelegraph.com/pre-chanukah-celebrations-held-at-nsw-parliament/ with gratitude and thank you)
Dr Yadu Singh
Federation of Indian Associations of NSW