Austin synagogue continues with Hanukkah events despite recent antisemitic attacks

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hanukkah starts Sunday and Austin’s Jewish community is determined to push past a recent rash of antisemitism.

“So antisemitism is not something new to the Jewish community, it’s been going on for centuries,” said Marvin Hecker, president of the Brotherhood Group at Congregation Beth Israel. “The celebration of Hanukkah is about overcoming antisemitism.”

That’s why Hecker is particularly looking forward to this year’s latke dinner. It’s called “I love you a latke.” Congregation Beth Israel has modified the event to meet COVID requirements. Instead of having the latke dinner in-person, it’ll be a drive-up event. But Hecker says they still keep it festive.

“After everyone picks up their meals and go back home, they can Zoom in to a celebration and we light candles and sing songs,” he said.

This year, that will hold extra weight as the Congregation Beth Israel community uses the gathering to push past hate.

“One way we fight antisemitism is to carry on no matter what,” he said. “One way to make progress and heal the world is to continue to do what you know is important regardless of acts like we’ve been seeing.”

The event will take place Sunday, Dec. 5.

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