It was a bit worrying when a text arrived from our musicians saying "We're stuck in Dunkeld – there's a railway points failure!" but all's well that ends well! More than fifty people had come from all over the Highlands to hear award-winning multi-instrumentalist Michael Alpert and klezmer fiddle player Gica Loening, and the delay gave them a little longer to chat, get to know each other, and enjoy the delicious kosher hot dogs, latkes and doughnuts, provided by SCoJeC for the buffet.
Eventually Scotrail pulled through, and Michael and Gica arrived to welcoming cheers. They performed a beautiful programme of Yiddish songs and poems and klezmer dance tunes as well as some Scottish melodies. Michael made connections between the story of Chanukah and the story of John Knox in his adopted hometown of Crail, and we lit the Chanukah candles to celebrate the festival a week early.
"I feel lonely apart from these gatherings," said one participant, "This gathering was great!" Another, from the Inverness Interfaith Group, told us that he and his wife "enjoyed the event very much and feel it brought a bit of light into these dark winter months."
Click here for a short video of Michael and Gica, and here for an audio clip.
Read about our other pre-Chanukah events in Dumfries and Alloa.
Many thanks to Netherlee and Clarkston Charitable Trust, the BEMIS Winter Festivals programme (in partnership with the Scottish Government), Highland Council, and Inverness Business Improvement District, for their support for this event.