December 21, 2011 / 25 Kislev 5772
Hundreds of olim (immigrants) from around the world, who arrived in Israel over the past twenty-four hours aboard flights organized by the Jewish Agency, lit the first candle of Hanukkah together at a festive event in Jerusalem Tuesday evening. Children from France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, and Costa Rica came together to light the Jewish Communities Hanukkiyah (Hanukkah menorah) and taste their first sufganiyah (Hanukkah jelly doughnut) during the Jewish Agency-organized celebration. The olim were joined by Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Natan Sharansky and Director-General Alan Hoffmann and received their te’udot zehut (Israeli identity cards) toward the end of the event.
Sharansky greeted the olim, saying, “You landed in Israel just a few hours before Hanukkah. This event marks the closure of a massive circle encompassing thousands of years, of generations who dreamt and fought and had no hope, and whose offspring are now completing the journey and coming to Israel.”