Jerusalem families find creative ways to celebrate Hanukkah – Watch

Trying to overcome the tone of life during a coronavirus pandemic, Jerusalem families are finding creative ways to celebrate the Hanukkah festival. >> Read more articles from The Media Line.
With COVID-19 restrictions restricting all types of events and social interactions, approximately 600 buildings across Jerusalem are participating in a city-led initiative known as the Enlightened Building initiative. The project allows neighbors to get to know each other through small outdoor events.

“I believe it is a sense of community that helps residents feel connected to where they live,” Hagit Moshe, deputy mayor of Jerusalem, told The Media Line at one such event, which took place in the neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev Sunday night.

Families from two apartment towers came together in the courtyard between the buildings to make homemade pizza, sing and dance. Moshe and a few local community leaders addressed the audience in front of a candle lighting ceremony.

“Even with different beliefs and opinions, if we are good to our neighbors, we can live together,” Moshe said. “Strengthening these common ties is very important to us in the Jerusalem area.”

This isn’t the first time the city has hosted a universal candle lighting campaign; However, the pandemic has sparked renewed interest in the project.

“This is a lot of fun because now we can finally do something,” Shira, a community activist and director in the Baka neighborhood, told The Media Line during the performances of her own building.

“We usually celebrate the joy of neighbors here all year round but because of the virus it has not been possible for us so far,” she said. “We sincerely hope that Hanukkah is the beginning of the end of the crown -virus and that we can go back to normal! “

Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that marks the restoration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Rebellion of more than 2,000 years ago. According to legend, very little oil used to miraculously ignite the Temple menorah lasted for eight days.

To celebrate the miracle, it is customary to eat donuts full of jelly and other goodies cooked in oil throughout the holidays. People also light candles, give gifts and spin a ceiling, called the dreidel.

“I really like Hanukkah both because of the donuts and presents,” 9-year-old Itay told The Media Line between bites of a fresh homemade sfinj, a traditional Moroccan donut that is popular throughout Israel.

“It’s a great holiday,” he said. “I also like spinning the dreidel.” It’s great fun! ” Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Jerusalem has turned to domestic tourism to bring life back to the city.For Hanukkah in particular, the city has received support from a number of local women to host small groups of Israeli visitors to their homes and take tours around their neighbors as directed by the Ministry of Health.

One of them is Rebbetzin Dina Brandwein of the descendants of Stratyn Hassidic, who lives in the Jewish Square of the Old City of Jerusalem. For more than five years, Brandwein has welcomed local tourists to her home – for a nominal fee – to hear stories about her family’s illustrious history and the colorful history of the Old Town.

Unfortunately these trips came to a halt when the COVID-19 emergency hit.

“This is the first time I’ve welcomed a group into my home since the pandemic began,” Brandwein told The Media Line. “It gives me strength to see people leave here happy. “