Update: London's Mayor Celebrates With Anglo Jewish Community


Update: London's Mayor Celebrates With Anglo Jewish Community

The illuminated menorah rising up over Trafalgar Square (photo: Bendon Video&Photo for Lubavitch.com)

by M. Phillips - London, UK

December 13, 2007

“If ever we get tired of the name London it actually would enshrine a lot of what make s London a great city if we renamed it Chanukah.”

So said London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone Tuesday night as he spoke to 5000 Londoners at Trafalgar Square. The Mayor lit the city’s new, Chabad commissioned, ergonomically designed 32ft. steel menorah.

“It was brilliant,” Rabbi Gershon Overlander, Chabad-Lubavitch representative to Hendon, who co-sponsored the event with the Mayor’s office, told Lubavitch.com.

Overlander echoed sentiments of the broader Jewish community. The Mayor’s expressed warmth and support were remarkable, prompting one British Jewish website to describe it “almost a miracle on the same scale as the Chanukah miracle itself.”

As reported earlier on Lubavitch.com, the shift in venue of Chabad’s Chanukah menorah lighting from the Mayor’s office to the significantly more public Trafalgar Square made it a far grander event than in years past.

Thousands—Jews and non-Jews—listened to a live presentation by Chabad of Hendon Concert Choir led by Clive Hyman. Kosher donuts and latkes, and traditional chanukah gelt in the form of chocolates—a gift of the Mayor’s office—were distributed, as the menorah, with Nelson’s Column behind it, illuminated the square.

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