AJC New Jersey has been afforded the opportunity to nurture the diplomatic ties between India and Israel. Those ties were on full display when representatives of both cultures recently enjoyed celebrating Hanukkah with one another at the Indian Consulate in New York City. It was a lovely evening filled the warmth and traditions that the holiday season is known for. Attendees enjoyed a diverse lineup of speakers and performers. Consul General, Sandeep Chakravorty gave an inviting welcoming address to a crowd of over 100 people. Those gathered also heard from Israeli Consul General, Dani Dayan about the miracle of Hanukkah.
Bringing much deserved attention to AJC New Jersey’s Hindu Jewish Coalition (HJC) and AJC’s Asian Pacific Institute was HJC’s co-founder and Central Region leader, Michael Feldstein. Michael focused a bright light on the important work of AJC. “Our mission is to build relationships based on mutual respect” he said. “Not tolerance, but respect. With our friends in the Indian Community we are certainly blessed to have that mutual respect.” Feldstein also referenced the half a million Hindus and half a million Jews in New Jersey, highlighting to the evening’s attendees that “peoples from both the Hindu and Jewish communities are overwhelmed with the same sort of warm feelings of friendship that we are all able to experience here tonight.” The depth of the relationships between the two communities was made clear and universally celebrated at the gathering.
Indian Rabbi Romiel Daniel said “together we can banish the darkness of the world” as the menorah was lit by Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General Dani Dayan, Rabbi and Mrs. Romiel Daniel, Samuel Daniel, Mr. Harpreet Singh Toor- a representative from Assemblyman David Weprin's office, Asia Pacific Institute Assistant Director Daniel Silver, AJC New Jersey Director Rabbi David Levy, and Lori and Michael Feldstein. At the close of the program, the Consul General generously provided a delicious kosher vegetarian dinner in celebration of the familial ties and mutual respect shared between the Jewish and Indian communities.