We would like to wish Hanukkah Sameach, or a very happy Chanukah, to all DMU staff and students celebrating.
The Jewish festival of Hanukkah (or Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, meaning “dedication” in Hebrew) begins this year at sundown on Sunday 28 November, ending eight days later on the evening of Monday 6 December.
The festival commemorates a momentous episode in Jewish history: the rededication of the second Temple of Jerusalem in the second century BC, following the Maccabees’ rebellion. Those celebrating light candles on a menorah on each day of the festival – one on the first day, two on the second, and so on – to represent the rekindling of the temple’s sacred menorah with a small amount of oil that is said to have lasted a miraculous eight days.
Hanukkah is additionally celebrated by exchanging gifts, enjoying traditional oily foods such as latkes (potato fritters) and sufganiyot (doughnuts), and playing games involving a spinning top called a dreidel.
Hanukkah at DMU
We are delighted to be holding a Faith Adviser drop-in and games in the Zen Zone at De Montfort Students’ Union on Monday 29 November, 2–4pm.
Join for some traditional Hanukkah fun: sample a few snacks, including latkes (potato fritters) and sufganiyot (doughnuts), and have a go at playing the dreidel (a four-sided spinning top game traditionally played during this festival) for your chance to win a prize!
Our Volunteer Faith Adviser, Leon, will be on hand 2–3pm to provide support with your faith or spiritual journey, or simply for a chat.
Everyone is welcome – the session is open to all students, of faith or no faith. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Hanukkah in Leicester
For more than 30 years, Leicester City Council has been marking Hanukkah with the annual installation of a large Public Menorah in Victoria Park: a visual symbol not only of Hanukkah, but also of religious freedom in our multicultural city. Leicester’s Jewish community invites everyone to join in celebration at the menorah, which can be found at the Mayfield Road roundabout corner of the park, on Saturday 4 December at 5pm.
Prior to this, the Leicester Hebrew Congregation is holding a Leicester Community Chanukah Lighting in the Attenborough Hall at City Hall (115 Charles Street, Leicester LE1 1FZ) on Sunday 28 November at 5pm (arrivals requested by 4:45pm). If you would like to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Judaism in Leicester
Leicester has been a welcoming place for Jews for many decades. Whilst there has been a small Jewish presence here for over a century, this was enhanced in the 1930s and ’40s by the arrival of refugees from continental Europe and displaced families from London. Jewish citizens of Leicester have contributed to many aspects of civic life, from education and health to law and trade (including at Leicester Market); and our Town Hall fountain was donated by former Lord Mayor of Leicester, Israel Hart.
Leicester Hebrew Congregation (LHC) is a welcoming Jewish community with over 120 years of history and culture in our city. People of all faiths can attend the newly-built Visitors Centre for a guided tour with an ambassador (subject to Covid-19 restrictions). Further details and up-to-date information can be found on the LHC website.
Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation (LPJC) is committed to being an active participant in the cultural and social life of Leicester(shire). LPJC’s synagogue, Neve Shalom, hosts singing and dance classes, English language classes for asylum seekers, as well as Jewish study and prayer. LPJC is part of a multi-faith initiative to provide shelter for homeless people over the coldest winter months, and is also active in other multi-faith initiatives such as the Leicester Council of Faiths and the Bishop of Leicester’s Faith Forum. See the LPJC website to learn more.
If you would like to know more about Judaism generally or in Leicester specifically, you are welcome to contact Rabbi Shmuli Pink of the Leicester Hebrew Congregation on 0116 270 6622, or Leon Charikar of the Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation on 07533 620 738.
Posted on Thursday 25th November 2021