Courtesy of JTA Chilean President Sebastian Pinera lights a Hanukkah candle during a ceremony on Dec. 27, 2019, at La Moneda Palace in Santiago.

Courtesy of JTA

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera lights a Hanukkah candle during a ceremony on Dec. 27, 2019, at La Moneda Palace in Santiago. 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The president of Chile lit a Chanukah candle during one of the country’s few public religious ceremonies that  was not canceled due to the unstable social situation.

“The Jewish people have demonstrated a resilience that not only causes astonishment but also motivates deep admiration. Each candle represents a value and each one of those values is what we want for our country,” said President Sebastian Pinera, whose government has been rocked by riots over inequality since October, with at least 26 people killed and thousands more injured and arrested.

Several Jewish and non-Jewish officials attended the Dec. 27 ceremony at La Moneda Palace in Santiago, including Israel’s ambassador Marina Rosenberg and the president of the Chilean Jewish community, Gerardo Gorodischer.

Home to some 15,000 Jews, Chile has had official Chanukah candle lighting events since 2008.

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