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Jewish community in Redbridge celebrates its first Chanukah at the East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue

PUBLISHED: 10:21 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:21 19 December 2017

Children took part in the communal candle lighting for the fifth night of Chanukah. Photo: East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue

Children took part in the communal candle lighting for the fifth night of Chanukah. Photo: East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue

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A newly-formed Jewish community celebrated its first Chanukah with an inclusive service to accommodate those with special needs this weekend.

Josh Newham, safe guarding lead at ELELS helping children with traditional Chanukah games. Photo: East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue Josh Newham, safe guarding lead at ELELS helping children with traditional Chanukah games. Photo: East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue

The East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue was packed to capacity on Saturday (December 16), for Chanukah, the festival of lights.

The day began at 11am with a signed shema, which is the daily call to prayer, so that any deaf members in the service could take part. Ramps were also in place around the stage.

Rabbi Richard Jacobi and Rabbi David Hulbert led the service, which was followed by a fried food lunch of donuts and potato latkes.

Rabbi Jacobi said: “Our first Chanukah as a new and larger community saw more than 90 people of all abilities come together for a fully inclusive service.

The Chanukah festival was all inclusive for young and old to take part. Photo: East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue The Chanukah festival was all inclusive for young and old to take part. Photo: East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue

“All round it was a community at its vibrant and harmonious best.”

Celebrations ended with the communal candle lighting for the fifth night of Chanukah.

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