On the third day of Chanukah, Rav Mendel and Lea Gotzel made a trip to Bender. Each year, a special Chanukah candle-lighting festival and banquet are held. Despite the pandemic, about fifty people gathered for the celebration this year.
The Chairman of the Bender Jewish community, Mark Finkelson, as well as a representative from the Jewish Agency, Emma Karasik, made remarks to the community members at the banquet.
Honored coach Joseph Abramovich was among the guests of the festival. For more than a quarter of a century, he has been the director of the Bender sports school for wrestling. His career in the sports industry has been marked by numerous awards, titles, and honors. He is also well-known in Bender not only as a coach but as an active public figure and activist. He works closely with the city to organize sports competitions and other public events.
Today, Joseph heads the Bender Public Council and is a member of the Council of the Jewish Community of Bender. Welcoming participants to the Chanukah festival, Joseph expressed his hope for a return to a more active Jewish life in Bender.
After the meal, Rav Mendel spoke about the Chanukah traditions and how each member of the community can celebrate the Chanukah miracle!
The celebration including singing and dancing, and old-timers sharing their memories of Jewish life in Bender.
This year, there truly was a Chanukah miracle in Bender: a new building was allocated by city officials for the Jewish community!