A menorah was once again lit in front of 32 Division station in celebration of Chanukah and the Jewish community.
“It was our small way to say thank-you to our Jewish brothers and sisters who are our partners throughout the year in helping us keep our neighbourhoods safe. The fact that so many young people came to sing in this very public space is a testament to the relationship we have,” said Superintendent Rob Johnson. “Anytime the police can enjoy space collectively with members of the public is always welcomed. In Toronto we do this well. Diversity is our strength.”
Uptown Chabad Rabbi Moshe Steiner said the Chanukah celebration at 32 Division is a reminder of the freedoms that people of different faiths have in Canada.
“Chanukah commemorates the heroic response of a handful of Jewish people to an ancient powerful government's attempt to stamp out Jewish identity and observance. In the centuries that followed, our grandparents and those who came before them, often suffered terrible persecution at the hands of countless oppressive regimes which turned their police forces against the Jewish community,” said Steiner, who led a prayer at the event. “Today, we are extremely fortunate to live in Canada where the government protects the rights of all people to peacefully celebrate their faith.”
He said the police officers at the Division are gracious hosts and true “mensches” – the Yiddish term for people of integrity and honour. Students from the Chabad Hebrew School of Dublin Heights performed.
“It is great to watch the children in the community interact with the police who are all such gracious hosts,” Steiner said.
Crime Prevention Officer Constable Howard Clements said it’s another great opportunity for police to meet the public they serve and build positive relationships.
“Every year, the event grows and becomes better. It brings people together,” said Clements. “It’s a way for the community to meet us, talk to officers about their community and concerns, learn more about us and see our human side.”