Coronavirus: Jewish leaders outraged Hanukkah gatherings banned, Christmas ones OK

Coronavirus: Jewish leaders outraged Hanukkah gatherings banned, Christmas ones OK

Montreal’s Jewish community is expressing outrage and disappointment that the Legault government is allowing groups to gather to celebrate Christmas together amid the continuing COVID-19 crisis, but won’t let Jewish families gather in small groups for Hanukkah.

“Premier Legault has not addressed the concerns and needs of several minority groups in Quebec, including the Jewish community,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, in a statement.

“While we applaud the notion of a seven-day family quarantine in late December, it fails to allow accommodation for Jews to celebrate the eight-day Jewish holiday of Chanukah.”

The Legault government unveiled its plans for the holidays this week, and is allowing groups of up to 10 people to gather from Dec. 24-27. When asked if exceptions would be made for other religious holidays including Hanukkah, Legault said no.

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Read more: Quebec government outlines holiday plans with schools to close early to allow for 4 days of family gatherings

“The Quebec government must take the needs of minority communities, including the Jewish community, into consideration, and work proactively with these communities prior to the lifting or imposition of unilateral COVID-19 restrictions,” Mostyn said.

“There must be no favouritism. The premier must be the premier of all Quebecers.”

Côte Saint-Luc resident Marissa Sidel-Dubrofsky had hoped she could celebrate Hanukkah with her family.

She’s dumbfounded Christians can celebrate Christmas, but Jews can’t celebrate their holiday together.

“What about us?…

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