Shopping mall chain welcomes Chanukah with public menorahs

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Westfield, the world-wide shopping mall empire founded by Holocaust survivor Frank Lowy, has expanded the number of centers welcoming the festival of Chanukah this week with giant public menorahs.

Last year Westfield, which has malls in America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, joined forces with Chabad to spread the light of Chanukah in a project initiated by Lowy’s rabbi in Sydney, American-born Rabbi Levi Wolff.

This year, even more malls will celebrate the festival of lights, especially in America where almost half of the group’s 105 shopping centers exist, including malls in Vancouver, Wash., and Bay Shore, N.Y..

Wolff paid tribute to Lowy’s son Steven, co-chief executive officer of the Westfield Group, for “bringing the light of Chanukah to communities around the world through Westfield centers and their managers globally.”

Wolff added: “Chanukah recalls the victory – more than 2,100 years ago – of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people over the mighty forces of a ruthless enemy that threatened to engulf our homeland and its people in darkness. Chanukah has become a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.”

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, a senior official in Chabad’s educational wing, told JTA: “This is an example of how companies can integrate and partner so well with local organizations in an effort to bring more light to the community.”

Lowy was born in Czechoslovakia and survived the Holocaust before immigrating to pre-state Israel. His father died in Auschwitz.

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