(JTA) — Young Jews in several countries lit Hanukkah menorahs at sites targeted by terrorist attacks to signal their solidarity with victims and celebrate resilience.
The ceremonies, organized by members of the World Bnei Akiva youth movement, included one lighting at the HaCarmel kosher restaurant in Amsterdam, where earlier this month a 29-year-old Palestinian smashed the establishment’s windows while holding a Palestinian flag. The assault happened one day after President Donald Trump announced that the United States considers Jerusalem Israel’s capital.
“I’m here to light a candle for the security and safety of the Jewish community of Amsterdam,” Avichai Meyer, the movement’s emissary to the Netherlands, said at the event earlier this week.
David Rogovoy, the emissary to Germany, lit his menorah outside the Christmas market where a truck deliberately drove into a crowd last year on Dec. 19, killing 12 and injuring 56. One of the casualties was an Israeli woman named Dalia Elyakim.
Rogovoy said he was lighting the candles “In honor of those who are not with us, and those people who were wounded and injured in terror attacks all over the world.”
The activists filmed the lightings and posted them on the World Bnei Akiva Facebook page under the hashtag #LightUpTheDarkness. Thousands have watched the videos.
In Israel, Bnei Akiva members filmed a menorah lighting outside Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station, where a security guard, Asher Almialach, was severely injured in a stabbing incident this month.
In England, Benaya Cohen lit candles at the entrance to the Manchester Arena, where in May a suicide bomber murdered 23 people and injured over 500 at a concert in one of the country’s bloodiest terrorist attacks ever.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Bnei Akiva members filmed a candle lighting at the Houston home of a member, Maya Wadler, whose home was ravaged by flooding during Hurricane Harvey.
“We hope and daven [pray] that this year will bring us pleasant weather and rains of blessing,” Wadler said.
Bnei Akiva is the largest Zionist youth movement in the world, with tens of thousands of members in dozens of countries.
and natural disasters