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First night of Chanukah in Washtenaw County tied to concerns about anti-Semitism

Menorah on First Night of Hanukkah
Jeffrey L. Cohen
Creative Commons
Menorah on First Night of Hanukkah

The importance of religious tolerance is a theme playing out for the Jewish community across Washtenaw County on this first full day of Chanukah. The message comes as incidents of antisemitism are continuing locally.

It was just in the past week or so as Chanukah was approaching that Rabbi Nadav Caine of Ann Arbor’s Beth Israel Congregation received a request to come help with an anti-Semitic incident between students in a Washtenaw County school.

He reached out to the students with a message similar to the one he shares over the Chanukah holiday. He urged the students to understand that religious intolerance impacts not just one individual, but an entire community.

"The message is that it’s the freedom to be different, to have a different religion than others, and yet, to get to live and thrive. And antisemitism is a message saying you’re not safe doing that."

The lights of the Chanukah menorah, he said, are displayed in the window for eight nights to remind the entire community to resist religious intolerance.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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