December 11, 2018 — New York, New York
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 Chanukah 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 a beautiful performance. Consul General, Sandeep Chakravorty gave an inviting welcoming address to a crowd of over 100 people. Those gathered also heard from Israeli Deputy Consul General, Israel Nitzan; NY Congresswoman Grace Meng; NJ Assembly Majority Whip, Raj Mukherji who presented an Assembly Resolution recognizing AJC and its efforts in advancing interfaith dialogue, diplomacy, and legislative action; and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
Bringing much deserved attention to AJC New Jersey’s Hindu Jewish Coalition (HJC) and AJC’s Asia Pacific Institute was HJC’s co-founder and Central Region leader, Michael Feldstein. Michael focused a bright light on the important work of AJC, and the strong friendship that has been forged between the Jewish community and the Indian community. Feldstein also highlighted 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, Deputy Consul General Israel Nitzan, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Assembly Majority Whip, Raj Mukherji and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Lyle and Regina Daniel, Brooke Knobel - an officer from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions, HJC Co-Chairs Michael and Lori Feldstein and Marc and Marcie Citron, and AJC Asia Pacific Institute Senior Program Associate Dylan Adelman. Following the candle lighting ceremony, those in attendance were treated to a beautiful dance performance by Consul General Chakravorty’s daughter Nandidi Chakravorty. 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.