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Quebec Premiere Bans Hanukkah Gatherings While Allowing Christmas Ones

François Legault.jpg

Quebec’s Legault government unveiled a plan to allow families to gather for Christmas, but when asked if similar exceptions to coronavirus regulations would be made for Hanukkah and other holidays, the Canadian province’s premier François Legault said no, sparking outrage among the local Jewish community, according to Global News.

“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 [Hanukkah].” Rabbi Reuben Poupko of Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation, a leading voice in Quebec’s Jewish community, also expressed his confusion and frustration at the announcement. “It is bewildering that the government would prize one faith community over the other, and we would just hope that all faith communities in Quebec would be treated in the same manner in an equitable fashion,” he told the news division of the Canadian Global Television Network.

Some in the community see the decision as an affront. “What about us? This is a total slap in the face. Why are you assuming we are unable to celebrate our holiday healthy and safe just like the rest of the province?” said Côte Saint-Luc resident Marissa Sidel-Dubrofsky to Global News.Others are concerned about any lifting of coronavirus regulations and what the results of the Christmas plan could be. “I sadly officiated at a lot of funerals in the first wave of this pandemic and I don’t want to see that happening again in January because of this government decree,” said Rabbi Lisa Grushcow, according to the report.“I think we should all be celebrating our holidays but I think we should do it creatively and at a distance. I don’t think we should do it in person,” Grushcow concluded. “I think our community has shown [during] these past few months that we can celebrate creatively. ”