Last night, the second night of Hanukkah, The Fellowship Menorah was lit in the Israeli city of Acco. The event focused on The Fellowship’s assistance to needy elderly, especially through our With Dignity and Fellowship project. It was held at the Beit Hyman Community Center, where activities for the elderly take place.
The Fellowship’s Yael Eckstein and her family joined Acco Mayor Shimon Lankri and 200 elderly Jews, Arabs, and new olim (immigrants) for the festive celebration.
While addressing the crowd, Acco Mayor Shimon Lankri said, “Rabbi Eckstein continually contributes to Akko. Whether it's for the elderly, needy children, or food for those who need it. Rabbi Eckstein built the Fellowship Houses for needy youth. Thanks to him we also renovated the bomb shelters in the old buildings. We're talking about a caring man who loves Israel.”
Yael also spoke to those gathered, saying, "I look at all of you and I say, ‘There's hope.’ This is the message of Hanukkah, and it's the message The Fellowship wants to give you and all the Jewish people throughout the year.”
After the speeches, the elderly listened to festive songs sung by Yoram Hazan, the evening's emcee and director of the Fellowship-sponsored Lasova Acco soup kitchen. An Arab woman played the darbuka drum and a Jewish woman played the violin together on the traditional Jewish song "We Bring You Peace." The evening concluded with everyone joining in the singing and dancing.
Overall, the evening showcased The Fellowship’s work with the elderly at its best – bringing together elderly of all backgrounds in a joyous gathering of peace, unity, and the alleviation of loneliness.