NEWTON (CBS) — Hanukkah, the festival of lights, begins with a symbolic flame an the lighting of a menorah. On Sunday in Newton and elsewhere, the local Jewish community came together to show solidarity and strength on the first night of the eight-night holiday.

“Especially in these days where there have been attacks on the Jewish Community, I think its particularly important that we stand together and remember the values we all share,” said State Rep. Ruth Baiser.

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One person even dressed as a dreidel and danced to get everyone in a festive mood.

A man dancing in a dreidel costume at the Newton menorah lighting. (WBZ-TV)

“We always need to be gathered together and be strong and that strengthens everyone together. Being alone is never good,” said Rabbi Shalom Ber Prus. “So everyone together gathers and we show we’re proud. We’re happy with who we are and we’re not afraid.”

Chabad of Newton Centre has been hosting the public celebration for 20 years.

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“You see the faces of little kids and watching them watch this happen and singing the songs,” said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. “It’s important to know that. When people really know things you don’t see the kind of hate and mistrust that has sadly becomes more common.”

The menorah lighting in Newton Sunday evening. (WBZ-TV)

Boston had a similar scene as the Boston Common menorah was lit and the city came together to celebrate.

“I’ve never missed a Boston Common menorah lighting ever,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “It’s a great way for me in the holiday spirit to be here with the Jewish community and the other people here who aren’t Jewish celebrating Hanukkah.”

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