The Indian Consulate in Sandy Springs hosted a Chanukah reception for the second consecutive year, and one thing is clear: It will be tough for Consul General Nagesh Singh to fulfill his pledge to make the celebration an annual event at the building on Glenridge Drive simply because of a lack of space. Almost as many people were outside the reception room (and unable to hear or see what was happening) as were inside during the official proceedings Sunday night, Dec. 11, which included lighting a pair of menorahs and a series of speeches from Indian, American and Israeli luminaries. Solomon, optimism, democracy and friendship were common themes raised by the speakers, who included Singh; his Israeli counterpart, Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, who declared, “Chanukah is my favorite holiday”; Congressman Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, who said the two standout speeches to Congress this session were made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi; Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols; Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, who welcomed the crowd to the Sandy Springs portion of the nation of India; American Jewish Committee Atlanta Director Dov Wilker; and AJC Asia Pacific Institute Assistant Director Nissim Reuben, an Indian Jew. India and Israel have been developing closer diplomatic, military and trade ties in recent years.

Photos by Michael Jacobs