Thousands of people of all ages gathered on Tuesday December 27, the fourth night of Chanukah, at the centrally located Caulfield Park to mark Melbourne’s 25th annual Chanukah celebration.
For decades, The Chabad House of Caulfield has been organising the event under the leadership and sponsorship of Rabbi Yossel Gutnick, which had seen the annual event become Australia’s largest yearly Jewish event with close to 10,000 people of all ages attending each year.
Revelers convened on the park grounds in the afternoon to enjoy the exciting rides and entertainment for children and teens and to sit down with family and friends while enjoying a wide range of offerings from the local Kosher restaurants. The local Schnapps band excited the crowd with lively Jewish music and Chanukah songs.
Before dark, the community heard greetings from the director of the Chabad House Of Caulfield, Rabbi Yossel Gutnick which was followed by greetings from local councilors Joel Silver, Jamie Hyman and Nina Taylor as well as elected state and federal politicians David Southwick, Michael Danby and Senator James Paterson.
A recurring theme of the speeches was the collective outrage and condemnation of the recent Anti-Israel resolution at the UN and the politicians commitment to unequivocally support Israel and the local Jewish community. Senator Paterson who had just returned back from a trip to Israel took the opportunity to publicly expressed his continuous support and calls for Australia to relocate its Israeli Embassy to the eternal capital of Jerusalem.
The huge Menorah was then lit by Rabbi Gutnick and Senator James Paterson who lit the Shamash.
Following a tradition of decades at Chanukah in the Park, the Menorah lighting was followed by lively Chanukah songs and dancing and the annual fireworks show.
Rabbi Pinny Super, the director of Chabad Young Professionals Melbourne, who organized the annual event on behalf of the Chabad House Of Caulfield said, “it’s remarkable to see young couples bring their kids to Chanukah in the park this year, who 20+ years ago, they themselves were kids at the same event at the same venue. The beautiful tradition continues,” he said.