Public Employee Press
Hanukkah: holiday of freedom
HANUKKAH CANDLES are lit Dec. 22 by Rabbi Alvin Kass, NYPD Senior
Chaplain. With him, from right, Linda Feldman of Jewish Heritage
Comm., DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts and former Treas.
Members of the District Council 37
community gathered Dec. 22 to celebrate Hanukkah and to light the menorah.
Rabbi Alvin Kass, Senior Chaplain of the Police Dept. and member of Local
299, and Jewish Heritage Committee Co-chair Linda Feldman officiated.
DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts pointed out that the sacred holiday
stands as a reminder of how we can achieve great things against
Hanukkah celebrates the victory, almost 2,200 years ago, of a guerilla
band led by Judah Maccabee over a much larger Syrian army that had occupied
Jerusalem and forbidden the Jews to practice their religion.
Hanukkah is a holiday of freedom, said Rabbi Kass. Jewish
people and people of every faith owe a debt of gratitude to these ancient
fighters for freedom.
The ancient story continues to inspire. Retiree Florence Brooks said she
grew up in Brooklyn and learned to honor the importance of the Festival
Joel Herbst, co-chair of the Retirees Associations Jewish Heritage
Committee noted, The importance of this occasion is freedom and
the continuation of the heritage.
The custom of serving a festive Hanukkah meal was observed with delicious
offerings of potato pancakes (latkes), applesauce and jelly donuts.
Clerical Division Grievance Rep Efrain Perez summed up the occasion: The
whole thing is a celebration of life. It includes everyone.