The City of Brisbane lit up literally on Sunday night as 1,000 people flocked to Reddacliff Place for the Chanukah in the City celebrations. The Con-Klezmer Orchestra, Uncle Velvel, Delicious felafel, steaks, latkes and doughnuts, community exhibits, and amusement rides were some of the excitement for which the Jewish and wider Brisbane community came together.
Over 15 government representatives from Federal, State and Local Council level, including Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Minister for Disability Services and Multicultural Affairs, Hon John Mickel, Speaker of the House and Lord Mayor of Brisbane Campbell Newma, were in attendance.
Master of Ceremonies Jason Steinberg, President of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies opened the formal proceedings by thanking Chabad Brisbane for organising the event, and welcomed the Sinai College school choir who gave an outstanding performance.
Chanoch Sufrin, adult education director of Chabad Brisbane delivered a Chanukah message followed by the reading of special message from the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Minister Palaszczuk MP spoke beautifully about the contribution of the Jewish community to Australia in general and to the State of Queensland in particular. The Minister also announced that she was delighted the Queensland Government could participate by supporting the event with a grant, and that she looks forward to continue supporting Chanukah in the City for many years to come.
The highlight of the night was when Rabbi Levi Jaffe, director of Chabad Brisbane and Rabbi of the Brisbane Synagogue with the Lord Mayor Campbell Newman were raised in the cherry picker to the light the 6 metre tall giant Menorah. Following the singing of some Chanukah songs the crowd was treated to a spectacular fireworks display which capped-off the evening.
Many locals commented at what an amazing event it was and how proud they felt to celebrate Chanukah in the City of Brisbane with such excitement.
Special thanks to the Queensland Government and the Brisbane City Council for their sponsorship. Special thanks to Brisbane Marketing for their tireless work and all the dedicated volunteers who enthusiastically came together in real community spirit and made this year’s Chanukah in the City a most successful and enjoyable event.