London’s Havering city council reversed their previous decision to limit their public annual Hanukkah menorah celebration following a meeting with Jewish community leaders Friday.
This reversal came after intense pressure following the city council’s sudden decision to publicly limit the Jewish holiday celebrations due to concerns ongoing tensions from the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza would spillover in England between local Muslim and Jewish communities. One Jewish leader told the Jerusalem Post the decision to limit celebration was a surrender by the local authorities to the forces of intolerance. (RELATED: Here’s What The Hannukah Story Can Teach Us About Today’s Culture War)
“[T]he parties are delighted to announce that the Council has confirmed its intention to proceed with the permanent installation of the Menorah as originally planned. In addition to the permanent Menorah, the candle lighting ceremony is going ahead as arranged on 12 December,” the Havering city council tweeted after meeting with local Jewish community leaders.
A Joint Statement from Havering Council and Jewish Community Leaders about Havering’s Chanukah Celebrations: pic.twitter.com/rsTwTbiovn
— Havering Council (@LBofHavering) December 1, 2023
The Board of Deputies of British Jews welcomed the reversal. “We are pleased that following a meeting this morning, the Chanukah Menorah installation in @LBofHavering has been reinstated,” the organization tweeted.
We are pleased that following a meeting this morning, the Chanukah Menorah installation in @LBofHavering has been reinstated.
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) December 1, 2023
The London Jewish Forum (LJF) tweeted similar sentiments. “The London Jewish Forum was able to provide the wider picture, which had important implications beyond Havering,” Daniella Myers, director of LJF, said.
After a meeting, we are pleased to announce that @LBofHavering has listened to the Jewish community and will be going ahead with the planned Chanukah Menorah installation. Thank you to Leader Ray Morgon and Havering Council. pic.twitter.com/Xa6FpYwSJu
— London Jewish Forum (@JewishLondon) December 1, 2023