the annual eight day festival of lights commemorating victory of Judah
Maccabee who defeated the Syrians and purified the Temple, will be
observed this year on December 7.
Shanghailanders may recall 59 years ago when in our make-shift
dwelling we lit the Menorah symbolizing the one day oil supply in the
Temple which lasted eight days.
Nineteen-forty-five was a bitter-sweet year when Jewish refugees learned
about the toll of the Holocaust, but not having to fear anymore the
bombardments over Hongkew.
The joy of seeing Americans in their uniforms of liberation was
tantamount to the many children in the ghetto that were showered with
fruit and candy by GI’s and sailors. In figure one, we see an American
soldier distributing “Chanukah Gelt” to refugee kids in Shanghai Hongkew
(courtesy, Jewish War Veterans of the USA).
As mentioned in previous articles, Chanukah was always celebrated big in
the Shanghai Ghetto. A program of a Chanukah event that took place in
Hongkew in 1947 was illustrated on the Website last December.
In this article, we show an announcement of this happening and a
critique of the performance which appeared in a Hongkew newspaper in
March of 1947. Both are shown in figure two and figure three
respectively. The article tells about the audience that filled the
Eastern Theater to capacity, standing and enthusiastically listening to
the orchestra commencing with the Hatikwah. Charles H Jordan,
Representative of the American Joint Distribution Committee, stated in
his opening remarks that miracles happen even today. “Like we celebrate
the miracle of the oil which burned eight days in the Temple that was
rededicated after the victory, it is a miracle that Shanghai immigration
survived eight years and more.” He continued by saying that “Chanukah is
a symbol which stands for resistance to suppression of freedom; that
reminds us to stand fast to our existence, and that the flame of
Inspiration may never vanish.