Jews in Canada send light to Palestinians in Gaza for Hanukkah

December 7, 2018

HAMILTON, MONTREAL, OTTAWA, VANCOUVER–A Jewish group is organizing four events across Canada over the coming days–the end of Hanukkah–to send small, hand-held solar lamps to Palestinian children living in Gaza.

“It plays off of the main theme of Hanukkah–the Jewish ‘festival of lights’–literally giving light to people forced to live in the dark,” said Rabbi David Mivasair of Hamilton.

Hanukkah has been celebrated for more than 2000 years by Jews around the world.

“For many of us, Hanukkah celebrates light overcoming darkness and the ever-present potential for liberation from oppression,” said Mivasair. “It’s a celebration of our people’s victory over tyranny, and by extension our obligation to fight oppression wherever we see it.”

Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), to which Mivasair belongs, is a grassroots organization with chapters across the country that advocates for a just peace in Israel-Palestine and social justice in Canada.

“The Israeli blockade of Gaza has lasted more than a decade now, and has led to undue suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza, “said Mivasair. “These fundraisers are just a small gesture of our support and solidarity.”

Funds raised from the celebrations will go to the California-based nonprofit Rebuilding Alliance, which has shipped over 40,000 solar lamps to children and their families in Gaza, where roughly 2 million people live with only 3-6 hours of electricity per day.

Mars Zaslavsky, a member of IJV McGill, looks forward to the Montreal fundraiser as a “space for the Jewish community–along with their friends and allies–to collectively reflect upon and rekindle their commitment to justice for Palestine”.

All events are public and open to the media. Each will have a visually rich candle-lighting ceremony with singing and presentations about the meaning of Hanukkah.

Hamilton Sat, Dec 8, 7:30–9 pm; 14 Alexander Street

Local contact: Rabbi David Mivasair,

Facebook event

Ottawa Sat. Dec 8, 7–10 pm; 216 Florence Street

Local contact: Geneviève Nevin,

Facebook event

Montreal Mon, Dec 10, 7–11:30pm; Casa del Popolo, 4873 Blvd Saint-Laurent

Local contact: Corey Balsam,

Facebook event

Vancouver Sun, Dec 9, 7–10 pm; Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture, 6184 Ash Street

Local contact: Marty Roth,

Facebook event

For more information and media inquiries, please contact:

Rabbi David Mivasair,