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Hanukkah comes to Ocho Rios

Published:Wednesday | December 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Rabbi Yaakov (right) invites the lighting of candles.
Children dancing in a circle of adults during the Jews' observation of Hanukkah.
The Jews performing part of the dance tradition.

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer


SUNDAY WAS a special day for several Jews living in Jamaica as they, along with friends and relatives from overseas, observed Hanukkah (Chanukah) on its sixth night, at Bamboo Beach Club on the outskirts of Ocho Rios.

The event was organised by Rabbi Yaakov of the Montego Bay-based Chabad of Jamaica Limited, and saw nearly a hundred Jews observing the eight-day Festival of Lights.

"I gathered more than 80 Jews - Jews who live in Kingston, Jews who live in Mandeville, Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, England, Toronto, New York, Canada, France," explained the Rabbi.

"A lot of them are visiting here, some live here, they came here to unite, to stand together with our brothers and sisters in Israel on this special holiday which is the holiday of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the holiday of light."

The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a nine-branched menorah, with one light being lit on each night of the holiday, singing special songs, reciting the Hallel prayer and eating foods fried in oil.

Yaakov came to Jamaica about six months ago to set up a Jewish Welcome Centre to welcome Jewish tourists to the island and operates from a temporary location in Ironshore.