As we celebrate Chanukah this year, recent events such as MPs questioning the loyalty of British Jews in public service, or joining parties where Nazi uniforms and chants pass as 'having fun' bring to mind the historic triumph of the Maccabees over those who sought to deny Jews their basic freedoms. However, our celebrations and rituals tend to emphasise the story of the single cruise of oil which miraculously burned for eight days, rather than the military victory.
The story of the oil, a seemingly small and limited resource, which ultimately delivered results way beyond its natural capacity when infused with the spirit and enthusiasm of the Jewish people at the time, is also the story of our own member organisations at the JLC. A set of charities which consistently deliver so much beyond what one might expect from the resource available to them – largely due to the dedication of their lay and professional leadership, as highlighted by new Jewish Care Chairman Steven Lewis.
So, this Chanukah, I hope that you will be able to join us together with the Mayor of London for the communal lighting in Trafalgar Square on the first night of Chanukah. In the meantime, the JLC goes into 2012 with a renewed commitment to act as a communal hub, oiling the wheels of communal life in a variety of different ways.