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Syrian Refugees Participate in Berlin Public Menorah Lighting

A group of Syrian refugee children, along with other Muslim groups in Berlin, joined with Jewish groups for a public Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony.

SANLIURFA, TURKEY -  OCTOBER 28: (TURKEY OUT)  Kurdish refugee children from the Syrian town of Kobani looks on in a camp in the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province October 28, 2014. Kurdish fighters, supported by US-led air strikes, have fended off the Islamic State militants offensive into the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani for the last 44 days but remain ill equipped and short on ammunition. (Photo by Kutluhan Cucel/Getty Images)

A group of Syrian refugee children — along with other Muslim groups in Berlin — joined with Jewish groups for a public Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony in the German city.

On Sunday, the Syrian children joined with local Jewish kids to light the giant Chabad menorah at the Brandenburg Gate. Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, and representatives of Berlin mosques attended the ceremony.

At a time when concerns have been raised about possible anti-Semitism among the 800,000 Muslim refugees now seeking asylum here, the joint celebrations sent a message “that peace and tolerance are stronger than any dispute,” said Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, the head of Chabad in Berlin, said at the ceremony.

“Those who spread fear have but one purpose, to destroy the unity and peace between cultures,” he said.

The annual celebration at Brandenburg Gate took place even though many Jews in Germany are hesitant to display religious symbols openly following an increase in anti-Semitic violence in Europe. Chabad claims its menorah


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