The Hanukkah celebration was hosted by the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Turkish Consulate in New York where members of the Jewish community lit a 19th-century menorah on this fourth night of Hanukkah.
Turkish Jews in the U.S. and from all over the world, gathered at Turkish House in New York for the first time to celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Light. Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is being celebrated all over the world at various squares and synagogues with an enthusiastic crowd.
Rabbi Marc Schneier conducted the Menorah Lighting Ceremony and offered remarks at the first-ever Hanukkah celebration at the Turkish House. He was honored to join H.E. Hasan Murat Mercan, Ambassador of Türkiye to the United States, H.E. Reyhan Ozgur, Consul General of Türkiye in New York, H.E. Asaf Zamir, Consul General of Israel in New York and many leaders of the American Jewish and Turkish Jewish communities.
The 150-year-old menorah which was purchased decades ago belongs to Jewish collector Thomas Gelb, who has also an extensive Judaica collection. This beautiful menorah was recovered from a synagogue in Prague and burnt down by the Nazis during World War
Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. Hasan Murat Mercan said that the Turkish House is home to all Turkish Jews, their friends, and relatives.
”The Jewish community is an inseparable part of our land, our community, whether they live in Türkiye or New York,” he said. ”Türkiye has been home to different religions, different cultures, and all of them helped with the cornerstone of our collective history…Our diversity reflects our strength.”
Asaf Zamir, Consul General of Israel in New York, expressed gratitude to Turkiye for celebrating Hanukkah at Turkish House and for its friendship.
”The fact that you decided to have this event this evening is extremely important to us,” he said.
Turkish Consul General in New York Reyhan Özgür added that is another confirmation of the growing friendship between the Turkish and Jewish people. ”The doors of Turkish House are always wide open to our Jewish friends,” he said. Today’s Hanukkah celebration is historic in the sense that for the first time, menorah candles will be lit in Turkish House.” He said that Sephardic Jews have become an integral part of Turkish society, enriching its culture and economy.
The Chief Rabbi of Türkiye, Isak Haleva, also attended the ceremony from Istanbul via video conference to wish Jews and everyone in the world of the Jewish Turkish Community and in the U.S. a happy Hanukkah
New York Jewish Travel Guide – Meyer Harroch