They don’t have a shul or rabbi, but P.E.I.’s few dozen Jews just celebrated their first public Hanukkah ceremony

From left: Leo Mednick, president; Joseph Jeffrey, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Speaker Colin LaVie; Martin Rutte; P.E.I. Premier Dennis King; Green party MLA Hannah Bell; and community member Joseph Glass. (Photo courtesy Joseph Glass)

Prince Edward Island doesn’t have a synagogue or rabbi. But now, exactly 120 years after Jews first began their continuous settlement on the island, the small but active Jewish community of a few dozen families celebrated their provinces’s first-ever public Hanukkah ceremony in front of the provincial Legislative Assembly building in Charlottetown.

This is the building where the Fathers of Confederation first met to found Canada in 1864. In 2021, about 60 Jewish islanders showed up on the lawn to witness the historic lighting of a three-metre-tall hanukkiah and celebrate their culture.

Joseph Glass, one of the organizers of the event, joins to discuss how this came together and what makes his community unique. Plus, we hear a clip of Edmonton’s candlelighting celebration, featuring NHL star and new Edmonton resident Zach Hyman.

What we talked about:

  • Learn about P.E.I.’s Jewish community at
  • Watch the Menorah lighting ceremony in P.E.I. on YouTube.
  • Watch a video of Zach Hyman lighting Alberta’s largest hannukiah on Twitter


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network; find more great Jewish podcasts at