Seven thousand people gather to celebrate Chanucah in the Square


Mayor Boris Johnson talked about the Jewish community’s “great cultural, economic and intellectual contribution” during the annual Chanucah in the Square event on Thursday.

The event at Trafalgar Square attracted 7,000 guests, with the Mayor of London joined by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, MP Louise Ellman and Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson.

The largest Chanuciah in Europe was lit during the celebrations, which also included a performance by renowned acappella group The Maccabeats and around 6,000 doughnuts.

The mayor noted that the event had special resonance this year, saying: “The lighting of the Menorah is a special moment in London’s festive season, symbolising light, hope and freedom, messages that resonate with Londoners of all faiths and backgrounds.

“Recent events here in London, in our sister city Paris, as well as in other parts of the world, remind us of the importance of cherishing and defending our freedom. Not only our freedom of speech and thought, but the freedom of religion or to have no religion at all.”

Simon Johnson said that events like these should make the community grateful, as it was “privileged to live in a country where our capital city opens one of its most famous landmarks to us every year.

“It is a great credit to modern Britain that we are free to celebrate our culture and heritage together with Londoners and the many individuals who visit our capital.”

Chabad Lubavitch UK chief executive Rabbi Bentzi Sudak said that “it was amazing to celebrate together with the entire community and a special London spirit.”

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