Photo Credit: Flash 90
Children love the glow of the Chanukah candles.

Every year, one of the largest outdoor celebrations of Chanukah in Australia takes place at the public park in Caulfield. The Chabad House in Caulfield hosts Chanukah in the Park, an event which attracts up to 15,000 people each year, according to Australian media.

But this year the event will not take place.


Chanukah in the Park, originally scheduled for Dec. 13, was canceled in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. Participants received a notice from the organizers that the event would be canceled “due to security risks and concerns especially in light of the current international situation and advice against large outdoor events.”

Instead of the huge outdoor celebration, the event will move indoors for a smaller “and more secure” Chanukah Fun Day at the Chabad House.

Although the email advising participants about the cancelation came from event organizers, the president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Jennifer Huppert, condemned the decision.

Huppert said, “”Clearly, security continues to be a problem in the Jewish community but . . . [Chanukah in the Park] has been an integral part of the community for many years and it’s disappointing” that the event was canceled. Huppert also told the members of the community to continue “celebrating events in the Jewish calendar such as Chanukah.”

Members of the Melbourne Jewish community were disappointed in the cancelation. One commenter wrote: “darkness should never, ever stop the light.”

A check of the calendar for Jewish events in Melbourne still lists the “Menorah Lighting at the Parliament” which is scheduled to take place on Dec. 7, starting at 7:30 p.m.


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


  1. it may not be publicized but a relative of mine is almost locked in their compound in Israel because they are a young study group and it is not safe so while they love it there they are almost like prisoners no late night falafel, no midnight prayers at the wall its just terrible that they have to live this way what gets me is why are extreme measures not being taken do they need more information before an assault? they cant be hoping it will just go away that will never occur. Its just sad while palestinas cry about their ghetto cities they reign terror and fear on innocent students and the saddest part is those around the world who support this vile group and blame israel for the hostilities. Heres the truth, palestians are aggressive murderers who could care less if they hurt an innocent, their family, or their life. They have been taught from infancy that this life is unimportant and they truly believe that they will be martyrs in the next life. Its a very ed up situation and there is no way either side is going to change so it leaves few options, fight to the death yes isreal out powers palestinians they throw rocks they get shot how stupid do you have to be to fight those odds. For israel, just get it over with quickly no one in the world likes you anyway so go on a mass rampage kill millions of palestinians in a single weekend, and let the dust settle it cant be much worse and likely it will get a whole lot better. my2cents

  2. The lights WILL NEVER be extinguished!!! In the home or shule, the lights will shine…don’t allow fear to “cancel” YOUR light or your spirit. Am Yisrael Chai. Do this for those who are no longer here & the generations that follow. Remember you are setting a presedence, in the worst of times our people STILL lit the Mennorah in bondage. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.

  3. D'vorah Joy Since when did that scare true believers? If the police cannot provide protection, there is always private protection services available, or a Jewish Defense (JDL) type of a service available. Are Jewish People always going to hide simply because the world hates us?

  4. Cody Flecker I don't know, maybe they just don't have the Jewish manpower in Melbourne, after all, it is not NYC. In any case, it is a very, very sad situation. And, no I don't think Jews should run and hide, but I can't speak for the city, I don't know how many Jews live there.

  5. D'vorah Joy NYC is not much better. Between the BDS and SJP destroying the fabric in US universities and colleges, such as Hunter College, CCNY, and Brooklyn College, not to mention Columbia, and the Jewish People being silent, or at best turning the other cheek to this anti semitism, we cannot use NYC as a guide for the rest of the world.

  6. Cody Flecker We have had demonstrations in NYC. We just happen to be louder and more aggressive than the rest of the country most of the time, but I agree, the anti-Semitism that is happening right here in our own backyard is very upsetting, and I don't think our Jewish community is doing enough either.

  7. D'vorah Joy Having been a personal friend of Rabbi Kahane when he was alive, I can assure you that unless the Jews fight back against anti semitism in all ways imaginable, they will be ultimately be forced to live in a ghetto for the rest of their lives. Running and hiding only tells the haters of Judaism that you all are afraid, and believe it or not, this only will enable these anti semites even more.

  8. Following news events in Australia, it is clear they have a growing problem with Islam. The country is known for the sheep it raises, like the US is known for beef. Almost all the meat has to be marked "halal" to the consternation of the people. I think pushing Jewish holidays on the same people migh alienate some, but would also become a problem for those Christians lligning themselves against Islam. Jews don't need to be the bellweather in this situation. Let them be accepted into Aussie society. They are not the ones making waves.

  9. You antisemitism is showing. Have a look around you at all the rest of the world's gatherings being cancelled due to threats before calling Jews Bob Hope said. The only thing chicken about us is our soup. Hypocrites. Any excuse to blame the Jews. We, like you ,like most decent people like to keep our kids safe. I wish you a good day.

  10. Lori. Headline grabbing article very disappointing. Many happy gatherings will be celebrated in other ways. We in melb want to protect ourselves same as in Israel Paris UK Belgium USA etc by avoiding potential threats to our communities. Giving all the antisemites another opportunity to have a go at Jews for wanting to live safely like everyone else.

  11. Im a melbourner and I deeply resent the implicatIon the Jews and most Australians are cowardly. Dont Jewshave equal right s to protect their families and loved ones by cancelling public gatherings as is happening in many other parts of the world. There is a very large Jewish Community in melbourne and we will have many happy celebrations but less public THE LIGHTS HAVE NOT GONE OUT….

  12. Ms. Benson, you may deeply resent the implication that the Jews and Australians are cowardly. However, they have given in to the Muslims. The Muslims want to wipe out all public displays of Judaism (as well as us Jews). I think they have been successful in obtaining part of their goal by destroying the rights of Jews to publicly display their faith. As you are a "melbourner" you are not allowed to protect yourself with a firearm. Don't think the Muslims don't know this. So, in effect, the Jews of Australia were set up for failure to be able to practice their religion by your misguided politicians who, quite effectively, took away Australian citizens means of self-defense. By the way, will the Australian government be allowing public displays of Christianity, or did the Muslims take that away from your countrymen as well?

  13. Not a nice thing to say!! You need to apologize. Australia is not Isarel. Here, we have too much chutzpah and some times not enough brains. Here we don't cancel not because we are brave, but because there is so much terror attacks that if we start canceling, the enemy wins. Plus we have great security, Israelis are well prepared for any pigua, Australia and the rest of the world are not.

  14. We allow them to defend themselves with weaponry, as the rest of the world will begin to do as country after country falls under Sharia Law. I hope most catch on in time. It's time to implement the U.S. Second Amendment around the world, it's just plain common sense if you wish to survive & be free.

  15. What's next? I suppose we'll be canceling Xmas,Easter,Chinese new year, Australia day The Melbourne Cup The Grand Final and the list goes on and on. What is happening to Our Australian/Multi cultural way of life? Wake up Australia stand up for our way,of ou r rights.

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