Menorah lightings held by consuls general on the final two nights of Chanukah shared the Festival of Lights with non-Jews and celebrated the importance of holding on to the light amid the darkness of events such as the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

“The sun never sets on the Jewish people,” says Nissim Reuben, who says India’s Jewish community is the only one in the world never to experience anti-Semitism because Hindus have welcomed Jews since at least the sixth century B.C.E.

“The sun never sets on the Jewish people,” says Nissim Reuben, who says India’s Jewish community is the only one in the world never to experience anti-Semitism because Hindus have welcomed Jews since at least the sixth century B.C.E.

On Saturday night, Dec. 12, Indian Consul General Nagesh Singh joined with the American Jewish Committee to host a lighting and kosher vegetarian Indian dinner at the Indian Consulate in Sandy Springs. In addition to Israeli Consul General Judith Varnai Shorer and representatives of the Jewish and Indian communities, the guests included Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson. It was the local Indian Consulate’s first Chanukah party, but it followed an example set by the consulate in New York and the embassy in Washington. Singh promised to make the event an annual celebration.

Nissim Reuben, an Indian Jew and an AJC official, helped Singh and his staff organize the event. Reuben said India has a vibrant Jewish community of 5,000, and there are 85,000 Jews of Indian origin.

Singh was among the guests the next night when Shorer and the Israeli Consulate hosted a Chanukah reception at the consul general’s Buckhead home. Republican Congressman Tom Price, Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall and Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul also attended, along with Attorney General Sam Olens and Rabbis Hayyim Kassorla, Joshua Heller, Analia Bortz, Mario Karpuj, Shalom Lewis, Scott Colbert and Brian Glusman.

Shorer emphasized the importance of embracing the light, just as she had the night before when she said, “We shouldn’t let the darkness get into our lighted rooms.”

Photos by Michael Jacobs