Israeli organization holds candle-lighting ceremonies across Israel
In addition to the candle-lightings, Ohr Torah Stone’s Yachad Jewish Identity Program organized song groups, games and other activities for families to take part in throughout the country.
By Jerusalem Post Staff | December 18, 2020
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Israelis from the North to the South participated in a program intended to connect families over the Hanukkah holiday.
Organized by the Ohr Torah Stone’s Yachad Jewish Identity Program, “Our Building Lights” brought families in apartment buildings and enclosed neighborhoods together to light the Hanukkah candles, among other activities – building a sense of community amid the health crisis.
“In a time when our traditional families have been kept physically apart, we have built stronger ‘residential families,’” said Yachad-Jewish Identity Program’s Director of Operations Betzalel Safra. “Even though we are often from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and walks of life, this virus has allowed us to become natural partners in commemorating the heritage that we all share.”
In addition to the candle-lightings, Ohr Torah Stone’s Yachad Jewish Identity Program organized song groups, games and other activities for families to take part in throughout the country. Organizers also visited nursing homes and welfare centers, following social distancing orders and Health Ministry regulations, to bring a bit of excitement to those within the age group experiencing the most loneliness amid the pandemic.
“Helping others to celebrate the holiday and their heritage doesn’t just bring them joy,” said the Yachad facilitator in Eilat Edna Lowenstein. “It brings so much meaning to our lives as well. It truly gives a sense of family and unity with the Jewish people.
“Chanukah has historically been a time when we celebrate the capacity to kindle lights at the darkest time in the calendar season. We do so alongside family and friends for together as a community we are able to dispel the darkness in society” said President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone Rabbi Kenneth Brander.
“While we have every hope and prayer that we can return to in person gatherings next year, for this Chanukah we are committed to ensuring that as many people as possible will be able to enjoy the holiday safely while still feeling the light of community. Like in generations past we have overcome remarkable challenges so too will we in these days,” he added.