Several hundred people came to the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza to participate in the annual lighting of the Silber Family Agam Menorah. (photo by Lior Noyman Productions)
In some places in the world, the sun shines on Hanukkah. It’s warm and inviting, and people gather at the lighting of a public menorah. But the real measure of a community is when hundreds turn out despite the cold and snow, to celebrate Hanukkah in a spirit of camaraderie and festivity. Such was on the first night of Hanukkah in Vancouver, when several hundred people came to the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza to participate in the annual lighting of the Silber Family Agam Menorah.
Members of Parliament, of the legislature and of city council brought greetings from their respective governments. The current patriarch of the Silber family, Arnold Silber, delayed his vacation to warmer climes in order to be at the ceremony. His son, Steven Silber, spoke on behalf of the family, and noted that this year marked exactly 95 years since the family’s former patriarch, the late Fred Silber, landed in Canada from his native Poland, with almost nothing to his name. He built a beautiful family and a legacy to the Jewish and wider community.
Rabbi Yitzchak Wineberg, executive director of Chabad Lubavitch of British Columbia, noted in his short address that the lesson of Hanukkah did not lose its impact on Fred Silber. The Maccabees were very small in number, against a mighty army of the Assyrian Greeks, who were well versed in the art of war. Hanukkah teaches us never to be deterred by challenges. Fred Silber may have arrived here with little but he left this world having left much for future generations.
Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld read a letter from the Lubavitch Rebbe (Menachem Mendel Schneerson) z”l that explains the importance and value of public menorah displays, and the attendees enjoyed a choir performed by students of the B.C. Regional Hebrew Schools, of which Rosenfeld is a co-director with his wife, Chaya Rosenfeld.
Chabad Lubavitch BC gratefully acknowledged the support of Arnold Silber in making this event possible.
– Courtesy Lubavitch BC