SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Sunday marks the first night of Hanukkah as millions celebrate across the world.
“The more we can learn about each other and each other's practices, it leads to greater civic support and pride,” Rabbi Michael Friedland said
Sunday night was a learning opportunity through peace.
People of all religions came out to support and celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
“It's a very special holiday and it connects our being American and proud Americans and being grateful for freedom in this country and religious freedom and connecting it to our religious values as Jews,” Friedland said.
For the first time, the city of South Bend is displaying a giant Menorah throughout the Jewish holiday.
“It's a way for everyone to see that south bend is a place where everyone should feel welcome,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg said. “Everyone should feel safe. Everyone should enjoy practicing their faith as they see fit.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg had the honor of lighting the Shamash.
“This Menorah, this symbol of celebration but also a symbol of persistence at a time at a time of collective crisis, I think that's something that has meaning for all of us not only the Jewish community,” Buttigieg said.
South Bend police were on scene for increased security following October’s synagogue shooting.
The South Bend community is working to come together as one.
“I think it's really important to have the community come out to together, especially this year,” attendant Brandon Bruning said. “It's really wonderful to have that kind of support.”
The Menorah will be lit electronically for the remaining seven nights of Hanukkah.