The first night of Chanukah really kicked-off on Sydney’s North Shore, with over 1800 people from the community coming together at “Chanukah on the Green” on Sunday night.
There was something for everyone: Over 20 different amusement rides and booths, from dodgems cars and giant slide, to a petting zoo and game booths, kids crafts and cookie decorating, as well as face painting and self-defence practice. There was also delicious food, including a well-stocked barbeque as well as Chanukah delicacies, such as hot latkes and fresh doughnuts.
The crowd roared and cheered as the giant Menorah was lit by The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Rabbi Paul Lewin of North Shore Synagogue, and Rabbi Nochum Schapiro. They were joined by Mr Jonathan O’Dea MP, State Member for Davidson, representing the NSW Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon. Ray Williams MP; Cr Christine Kay, recently elected Ku-ring-gai Councillor to St Ives Ward; and Ku-ring-gai Councillors Cedric Spencer and Sam Ngai. Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scott Morrison, sent a special Chanukah message for the event.
The event featured an exceptional magic show by Ash from ‘The Cardistry’, and a musical presentation by the Masada College Jazz Band.
The festivities culminated with a spectacular fireworks show that wowed the crowd and lit up the skies of St Ives.
This annual event is organised by Chabad North Shore, led by Rabbi Nochum and Fruma Schapiro, who have been spreading the message of Chanukah to the North Shore for 29 years. The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn of blessed memory, inspired and encouraged the public display of Menorahs across the world, spreading the message of Chanukah, to increase and spread light to dispel darkness, a still extremely relevant and timely lesson in our lives today.
Special thank to major sponsors Woolworths and Ku-Ring-Gai Council, and partners Masada College and North Shore Synagogue. Also thank you to Hatzalah Sydney, Betar, and the many many volunteers who helped make this event so special. An extra special thank-you to Chabad’s Bochurim-Shluchim, Pesachya Adelist, Mendel Greenberg and Mendel Muller, who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this event.
Chabad North Shore is organising other Chanukah celebrations: the new Coles St Ives on Wednesday, 5 December at 6pm; Ku-Ring-Gai Council Chambers on Thursday, 6 December at 3:30 pm; Westfield Chatswood on Thursday, 6 December at 5:30 pm; and Chabad on Friday, 7 December at 6:45 pm. In addition, Chabad has organised Chanukah displays at Westfield Warringah Mall, Westfield Chatswood and St Ives Shopping Village.
photos by Noel Kessel