BAYONNE, NJ - “We all need a little more light,” Jacob Benzaquen, Rabbi, Temple Emanuel of Hudson told TAPinto Bayonne on Wednesday. Referring to what appears to be a growing national divide in politics and lawmaking the religious leader added that leadership on the national stage shouldn’t be about “right or left” but rather about who is “willing to turn toward the light and who prefers darkness.”

Indeed the event held at BCB Bank, lighting a Hanukkah Menorah to commemorate the 4th night of the eight night holiday celebrated by those of the Jewish faith around the world, served as an opportunity to celebrate Bayonne’s growing diversity and commitment to tolerance.

The lighting, according to Dr. Ellen Goldberg, executive director of the Jewish Community Center of Bayonne, was launched by the former Downtown Merchants Association, is now sponsored by the City’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), and is, “something special.”

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“Community interaction is very strong in Bayonne,” Goldberg said adding that as a lifelong resident of the Peninsula City she has seen the community “make the Jewish population feel welcome” for generations.

“We’re not perfect but we all get along and it works,” Mayor Jimmy Davis said referring to Bayonne’s spot as a diverse community in the what statistics show is the most diverse county in the US. “If we can all work together we can make the world a better place” he added offering his hope that Bayonne can set an example for communities all across the nation and globe.

Closely watched and politely listened to by the students of the Pre-K 4 students of the Lauren Wendroff Early Children’s Academy, Benzaquen would go on to offer some more words about the symbolism of the menorah lighting saying that it was meant to help usher in compassion, love, and happiness, and, with its strategic placement at the bank’s large window facing Broadway, all “light to go out into the world.”


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