Munching on sufganiyot, singing Hanukkah songs, and sharing stories of their efforts to brighten the world, the Jewish community met in White Rock Sunday (Dec. 5) evening to celebrate the eighth day of Hanukkah.
The inspiration for the 26th annual Chanukah By-the-Sea celebration, hosted by Centre for Judaism of the Lower Fraser Valley, was to show that a little light can go a long way, especially in times of darkness.
The event united people from the Lower Mainland, and included official representation from the City of White Rock, City of Surrey, City of Langley, B.C. government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
This yea marked a return to in-person scheduling. Last year’s event was held online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Semiahmoo Shopping Centre hosted the event for 24 years prior to it moving outdoors.
Zsofia Szabo was awarded the Young Lamplighter award this year to honour her volunteer work over the past year.
Centre for Judaism co-director Simie Schtroks said that while the outdoor event was held in the cold, “it really felt like a beautiful, warm event.”
“Most importantly, the message that a little light dispels a lot of darkness came through loud and clear,” Schtroks told Peace Arch News the day after the event.
“The pandemic taught us to appreciate that life is not about superficiality, but it’s about making it brighter… for others. That’s really what it’s about.”