By Mayor Joy Cooper
Hallandale Beach - This Hanukkah, much of the attention is Israel - There have been major discussions nationally on the announcement about the American Embassy moving to Jerusalem and President Trump’s announcement acknowledging that the Capital of Israel, is Jerusalem. In my book, this is a great movement in the right direction. While I understand that every action has the opposite and equal reaction, in my opinion Israel can now move forward in strength with its strongest allies. President Putin announced his support first. While I am not a fan of either, I am very happy with this unity with Israelis. The American Jewish Congress and other groups have continued to come out and support the position.
The opposite reaction of further acts of violence is concerning. We, here in the United States that have not visited Israel may not have an understanding about how Jews exist under the constant threat of attacks. I know we read about them in the news and how these attacks have spread globally not just against Jews, but Christians and Muslims that support the acceptance of all religious beliefs. Through my experience, I can say Israel remains safe due to the steadfast strength of its people and we need to continue to support them.
A sea of change hopefully will be coming. I have been fortunate to visit Israel. It is a beautiful country and home to many religions. I have fond memories of waking up to the sounds of Jerusalem. The church bells were ringing and the Muslim call to prayers while we walked to the Wailing Wall. These experiences strengthened my belief that the city belongs to the Jewish people. For thousands of years, they were and have been under siege, kicked out and persecuted.
There will always be extreme views and there will also be some people that want to rewrite history and deny what we know. A group of mayors had the chance to sit, and have a dialogue with the new generation that is working to move forward in peace and this unity was very promising. Just like here in the states, we need to work to create peace. As we celebrate the holiday, we need unite in understanding and respect of all religions, despite our own ethnic origins.
Hanukah is the celebration of light, but the origin of the holiday is from the yet another attack on the Temple. The first miracle was the incredible victory of the Maccabees, over a powerful Greek military force controlling the Land of Israel more than 2,000 years ago, yet our ancient sages downplayed the military miracle. It was the second miracle that is the centerpiece of Hanukkah and it is the relighting of Menorah in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the occupation. The little oil that was left after the battle should have kept the menorah lit for only 24 hours. It lasted for eight days.
Hence, we light the first candle in celebration and every day for eight days. The symbolisms are that even in the deepest darkness, the light of one candle can light the way. This means that even one person can make a difference. I wish everyone a blessed holiday!
FOSTER PARK PLAZA RIBBON CUTTING
Hallandale Beach is dedicating another park. Foster Park Plaza ribbon cutting is scheduled this Saturday at 2 o’clock. The plaza is located directly across from Foster Park at 609 NW 6th Ave and Foster Road. It was designed as an area for the community and can be utilized for shows and other community uses.
Also, during the ground breaking, we will be hosting the 11th Annual “Hope for the Holidays” at Foster Park in partnership with the South Florida Educational Development Center. We are looking for Volunteers and mostly donations to help make the season brighter for needy children in our city. For more information and how you can get involved, call Sandy at: (754) 204-5947. Or Ms Clara at: (954) 678-8921. You can also drop off a donation ahead of the event during the day hours at Foster Park.
As always, please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions/concerns and ideas at my office: (954) 457-1318. On my cell/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or e-mail me at: email@example.com I also welcome the opportunity to come to your next meeting to review your budget and other City issues, anytime. Call the above number to schedule an appointment.