Chanukah 2023

We would like to wish Hanukkah Sameach, or a very happy Chanukah, to all DMU students celebrating.

Hannukah main

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah, or Chanukah, meaning “dedication” in Hebrew, is also known as the Festival of Lights. It begins this year at sundown on Thursday 7 December, concluding eight days later on the evening of Friday 15 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.

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 Visitors Centre for a guided tour with an ambassador. 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 many classes as well as Jewish study and prayer. See the LPJC website to learn more.

Posted on Thursday 7 December 2023

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