Happy Chanukah to everyone who is celebrating here in London and around the world.
Chanukah is a joyous time of year – but we must always remember that Chanukah celebrates freedom from religious oppression. It is a timeless story that has given hope for over 2,000 years to Jewish people, and to many others.
It resonates with me. And I know it resonates with many other Londoners too – no matter what faith they practice or beliefs they hold dear.
Because it’s the message that, regardless of the odds, it’s possible that when we work together we can ensure light triumphs over darkness.
It was an honour for me to have held a Chanukah reception at City Hall earlier this month, in partnership with the London Jewish Forum.
As I look back on what has been a huge year for me personally, I’m reminded of – and very grateful for – the warmth and best wishes extended to me by the Jewish community.
The contribution and success of the Jewish community in the capital is a shining example of London at its best, and shows what can be achieved when London is open – open to all cultures and open to people from all backgrounds.
I am proud that London is a city where Jewish people, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and those who are not members of an organised faith – don’t simply tolerate each other, but respect, embrace and celebrate each other.
From my family to yours – happy Chanukah.