(Above) Guests pictured with Danielle Uzan, one of the event organisers; (below) Natalia Bortnevslaïa ensemble dancing; Chief Rabbi Alain Nacache in the Luxembourg Synagogue; Credit: Jazmin Campbell

On Saturday evening, the Jewish Consistory of Luxembourg (Consistoire Israélite du Luxembourg) and the "Espoir Tikva" group held a dinner show at the Luxembourg Synagogue to celebrate Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights.

The event took place according to the CovidCheck rules in place in Luxembourg and brought together around 100 members of the Jewish community and guests of different backgrounds.

The evening began with the lighting of the seventh candle of Hanukkah, followed by poetry readings, music and food. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival which commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem with the lighting of candles of a menorah (a nine-branched candelabrum) each night.

This year's Luxembourg celebration followed a "Russo Gypsy" theme, with Natalia Bortnevslaïa and her ensemble singing and performing typical Russian gypsy dances. One of the organisers, Danielle Uzan, explained that the idea was to take attendees on a voyage to Russia, and further afield, after almost two years of COVID-19-related travel restrictions.

Dinner was followed by a tombola.

The evening concluded with Chief Rabbi Alain Nacache giving some of the guests an exclusive tour of the Luxembourg Synagogue, which was built after the Second World War, in 1953. This is one of two synagogues in the Grand Duchy, the second being located in Esch-sur-Alzette. The one in Luxembourg City is an Orthodox synagogue, whilst the one in Esch-sur-Alzette is a Liberal synagogue.

As well as explaining some of the differences between Orthodox and Liberal Judaism, the Chief Rabbi confirmed that there are currently around 400 to 500 Jewish families living in Luxembourg.