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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsDiplomacyGreek, Turkish, Israeli Diplomats Get Together to Mark Hanukkah

Greek, Turkish, Israeli Diplomats Get Together to Mark Hanukkah

Diplomats mark Hanukkah
Greek Ambassador in the United States Alexandra Papadopolou joined Turkish Ambassador in Washington H. Murat Mercan (left) and Israel’s United Nations representative Gilad Erdan (center) at the event. Credit: Twitter/Ambassador Gilad Erdan

The Greek, Turkish and Israeli Ambassadors to the US got together on Sunday in New York in an event to mark the end of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.

In an extremely rare show of unity between the three countries, often at odds with each other, the three diplomats lit Hanukkah candles together at the event, which was organized at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York by the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America.

Greek Ambassador in the United States Alexandra Papadopolou joined Turkish Ambassador in Washington H. Murat Mercan and Israel’s United Nations representative Gilad Erdan at the event, called the National Sephardic Community Gala. Thessaloniki-born physician Albert Bourla, the CEO of the Pfizer Corporation, also was in attendance.

“The strong ties between the Hellenic & Jewish communities are the best guarantee for religious freedom & interfaith dialogue,” the Consulate General of Greece in New York tweeted.

Hanukkah is celebrated by Jews worldwide

Hanukkah, which is celebrated by Jews worldwide for eight days and nights, falls on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which takes place some time between November and December on the secular calendar.

This year, it started on Nov. 28 and ends on the evening of Dec. 6. In Hebrew, Hanukkah means “dedication,” as the holiday celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem following the Jewish victory against the Seleucid monarchy in 165 B.C.

Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, as well as traditional food, games and gifts.

In April 2021, Greece assumed the presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IRHA).

“With a deep sense of responsibility, Greece commits to promoting its substantial work towards keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive,” the Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

In a series of events to be held over the months, the Greek presidency will emphasize educating and learning about the Holocaust, especially younger generations, about what the Holocaust means, so that it shall never be repeated, the Ministry stressed.

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