Civic Chanukah Candle Lighting
The Birmingham and West Midlands Jewish Community’s 1st Civic Chanukah Candle Lighting took place in rooms 3 and 4 at the Council House, and from the feedback received from invited guests, it was a great success. The Lord Mayor and the Leader of the Council together with a number of Councillors, joined representatives of different faiths, members of committees and groups with which the community has involvement, and individuals who through their work or in a voluntary capacity, engage with the Representative Council and community organizations, for the event.
Representative Council Chair, Ruth Jacobs welcomed the guests, and Cllr Dr Barry Henley introduced and invited the Lord Mayor, Cllr Anne Underwood, to speak. After this, a short film, explaining the historical significance about the festival and how it is celebrated, was shown. Barry Henley lit the first candle and then the Lord Mayor, the Leader of the Council, the Dean of Birmingham Cathedral, and Muslim,Hindu and Sikh representatives lit the next 6 candles. The 7th and last candle for that evening was lit by Max Rueff, a member of the King David School Choir which sang then Ma’oz Tsur and a number of Chanukah songs in Hebrew and English, one of which was accompanied by Max on his recorder. The Choir’s performance was definitely the highlight of the event with the choir receiving a rapturous round of applause and many compliments. Whilst doughnuts, biscuits, clementines and hot drinks were enjoyed by all, members of the Representative Council, community organizations and some of the community’s Rabbanim engaged with the visitors. The purpose of this event was to share the celebration of Chanukah with the wider community and to showcase our community. Both these objectives were achieved and it is intended that this will become an annual event. Thanks were extended to the Steve Langford, head of King David School with Carol Cooper and the Choir for participating, to Canon Dr Andrew Smith for his encouragement to put on this event and to Cllr T Chatfield and his office for their assistance in enabling the event to happen.