Manaus is the seventh-largest city in Brazil, and the majority of its population is Christian, mostly Catholic.
By World Israel News Staff
McDonald’s is best known for its Happy Meals and Big Macs, but not in the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The Jewish owner of a McDonald’s in Manaus decided to erect in front of his restaurant a 7-foot-tall iron menorah that sports a facade of french fries. According to JTA, it has drawn “massive attention” and has become “a picture spot.”
Manaus is the seventh-largest city in Brazil, and the majority of its population is Christian, mostly Catholic. The city’s Cathedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora da Conceição is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manaus.
Even though only a small Sephardic community resides in a city that boasts some 2.2 million people, its Jewish members feel it’s important to make their presence known.
“It’s important for the local population to note the Jewish community that is part of them, with different customs and parties,” said Benjamin Benchimol, president of the Amazon Israelite Committee, the JTA reports.
According to the report, another menorah at a nearby mall will be lit on the eighth night of Chanukah.
“We are always seeking integration with the larger society.” Sergio Band, the organizer of the mall menorah ceremony, told JTA. “The evangelical community looks to the chanukiyah (Chanukah menorah) as a symbol of theirs, too.”
“We work hard to keep Judaism present, active and inspiring here in the Amazon. We are proud to be Jews in the Amazon,” he added.