Annual Hanukkah event shunned by Calgary mayor attended by community in massive numbers

Attendees comment: "This is exactly how [the event has] been since I was a kid... I feel like it's been politicized to us, not that we've politicized it."

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Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek announced the day before the city's annual menorah lighting celebration that she would not be attending the event, describing it as "political."

She followed up with a tweet noting the "change" pushing her to withdraw from attending, which advertised the event as a venue of unity, support for Israel, and a celebration of Jewish culture.

I strongly encourage viewers to read Gondek's full statement. Consider how she describes the division between politics and religion. Then, keep in mind her approach to arresting Calgary pastors for violating COVID rules, or her silence when churches in Alberta became the targets of arsonists.

Gondek faced an onslaught of criticism from many Canadian politicians for her bizarre political messaging.

Jewish community leaders in Calgary also responded strongly.

This event has been attended by all of Calgary's mayors since it began 35 years ago. This year, the annual Hanukkah celebration, taking place exactly two months after the horrific Hamas attacks on Israel, was attended by the city's Jewish community in massive numbers.

To see more of our coverage of the effects of the Israel-Hamas war in Canada, go to

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