THE Governor of Victoria, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Deputy Premier and the Leader of the Opposition are among the VIPs set to join official Chanukah celebrations over the next fortnight.
The chag begins on Sunday, November 28 and will kick off that evening in the CBD with the eight-day Pillars of Light (POL) festival in Fed Square, organised by the ARK Centre.
A celebration of multiculturalism, POL will see high-profile guests from a range of faiths and ethnicities address attendees each night and light the 12-foot high chanukiah.
Among those taking part are Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Governor Linda Dessau, SBS’s Manpreet Singh, author and broadcaster John Safran, the Doherty Institute’s Sharon Lewin, Western Bulldogs’ Buku Khamis, deputy chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission Bwe Thay, Mohamed Mohideen of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Jasbir Singh of the Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria, the Anti-Defamation Commission’s Dvir Abramovich, Rabbis Moshe Kahn and Dovid Gutnick, and AJN national editor Zeddy Lawrence.
Each night will also see free live performances featuring local multicultural, faith and Indigenous artists.
Director of Pillars of Light and rabbi of the ARK Centre Gabi Kaltmann said, “This year’s Chanukah celebrates so much more – the sharing of light, hope and emerging out of darkness; something that is so relevant, necessary and meaningful in our current climate.”
Meanwhile, on the evening of Tuesday, November 30, Chabad Melbourne will be hosting Chanukah in the City at the Sheraton Melbourne.
Starting at 7.30pm, the menorah lighting and cocktail party will feature Deputy Premier James Merlino, Leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy, former chief scientist of Australia Alan Finkel, Israeli charge d’affaires Ron Gerstenfeld and world-renowned chazan Shmuel Feldman.
There will also be musical entertainment.
Promising a great vibe and delicious food and drinks, Rabbi Chaim Herzog said, “We are lighting the skies up after the city’s extensive lockdown this year.”
To book tickets for Chanukah in the City, call (03) 9525 9929.