by Tamar Runyan
More than 800 people gathered at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the eight-day Jewish holiday of Chanukah and the resurgence of Jewish life in Germany.
Chabad-Lubavitch of Berlin program director Rabbi Shmuel Segal, assisted by Bundestag vice president Petra Pau and a representative of the local municipality, lit the towering Chanukah menorah erected in the public square near the gate.
U.S. Ambassador Philip Murphy kicked off the celebration, pointing to the significance of celebrating a Jewish holiday in a city that was declared free of Jews during World War II.
“This is a holiday of light that my family and I were happy to enjoy in America,” he said, “but here in Germany, at the Brandenburg Gate,” it means something more.
More than 20 Jewish organizations joined Chabad-Lubavitch of Berlin in organizing the event, including the Israeli Embassy, the Jewish National Fund, the World Zionist Organization, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and B’nai B’rith.
In addition to the Brandenburg Gate ceremony, Chabad-Lubavitch of Berlin coordinated 10 public menorah lightings throughout the city.
This article originally appeared in Chabad.org News; reprinted with permission.