On a cold but festive Sunday afternoon, more than 60 Israelis living in Scotland gathered in Bridge of Allan near Stirling, to celebrate Chanukah with their family and friends.
This was the first ever event for Israelis in Stirlingshire, and saw many new faces joining the celebration. One participant told us that although she had been living in Scotland for the last 30 years, it was only recently that she had become aware of other Israelis living in Scotland.
Families and friends gathered to light the five candles, sing Maoz Tzur, and enjoy a delicious Israeli feast of levivot, sufganiyot, falafel, salads, and hummus. This was followed by upbeat rikodei-am (Israeli folk dancing), and Chanukah-themed arts and craft sessions for the children, with prizes for the best hand-crafted chanukiot, and Israeli treats for all the children. Young and old tested their Chanukah knowledge during the trivia quiz for which the winner received a bottle of kosher wine.
Some brought their own chanukiot while for others Chanukah was a new experience and everyone was very happy to share their traditions with friends. “It’s great to celebrate with Israelis, Jewish, and non-Jewish friends,” commented one participant. “Chanukah takes me back to my childhood memories from home, and I am happy to be able to share our culture and tradition with my friends."
"It was a great event, for me for my wife and for my children,” added another, “a pleasure to see so many people come together. I had a great afternoon, and met new people with whom I am going to keep in touch. I’m looking forward to the next event!”