Azerbaijani Jews Proudly Gather in Baku

Thousands of Jews celebrated the holiday of Chanukah in Azerbaijan under the leadership of Rabbi Shneur Zalman Segal, the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi.

Based on an article by COLlive reporter

The Jewish community in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, celebrated the holiday of Chanukah with much fanfare under the leadership of Rabbi Shneur Zalman Segal, Chabad Shliach and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi.

Jews of all ages filled the synagogue in the capital city of Baku, famed for its medieval walled Inner City, to light the Menorah, sing Jewish melodies, play dreidel and enjoy a festive kosher meal.

The country is one of the most friendly Muslim states towards Jews and its president Ilham Aliyev has been open about his warm friendship and appreciation for the Jewish residents of his country.

450 Chanukah packages were delivered to Jewish families in Baku, and over 300 people participated in the lighting of the first candle. The 2nd candle hosted a children’s Chanukah party and teenagers’ event, while during the 3rd candle an event for the older generation and another event for our youth took place.

Meanwhile, at FJC’s ‘Or Avner’ Jewish school, the 1st secretary of the Israeli embassy, consul Nativ, and the Jewish parliament member celebrated Chanukah with the kids. In parallel, volunteers from the community and the youth club distributed Chanukah kits and brought the joy of the holiday to all the Jews of the city.

Rabbi Segal said he was honored to live in Azerbaijan, saying it was one of the few Muslim countries where a person dressed in the traditional clothing of a religious Jew can fearlessly walk the streets without fearing antisemitic harassment.

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