Chabad of Melbourne CBD hosted its annual Chanukah in the City, and celebrated the fact that Melbourne marked 50 “donut” days on Chanukah – meaning days without new cases of Covid-19.
Chabad of Melbourne CBD hosted its annual Chanukah in the City with guests including Victorian Liberal Leader Michael O’Brien, Victorian Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Neil Angus, Caulfield MP David Southwick, Box Hill MP Paul Hamer (representing the Premier), and federal MP Josh Burns.
Rabbi Yitzchok Riesenberg of Central Shule spoke on the Miracle of Chanukah and how Victoria has 50 doughnut days of no virus infection. Doughnuts have become Australia’s symbol of hope as the country witnessed no reports of cases or deaths from Covid 19.
At the end of a year of pandemic and lockdowns, O’ Brien wished the community a Chanukah Sameach, telling the gathering “When I think of the Jewish community in this state, I think of resilience, I think of faith and I think of dedication and overcoming the odds. There’s just that determination to see this through. We look forward to a much better, stronger and more prosperous 2021.”
Southwick and Burns spoke about their agreement during the pandemic to place the Jewish community’s welfare ahead of politics and Hamer, who co-covenes Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Israel with Southwick, noted the Victorian Friends group was widely known for its partisan support of Israel.
Rabbi Yoni Reyder sang traditional Chanukah songs and guests tucked into latkes and doughnuts. Before the event, shliach of Chabad of Melbourne CBD Rabbi Chaim Herzog said his Chabad House focuses on bringing people back to the city. “What better way than Chanukah to bring light back into a dark CBD.”