As a former board member of the Widdicombe Co-op Houses in Greenwich Village, I thought a candle lighting ceremony for Hanukkah was not only appropriate but we would greatly benefit by displaying a small menorah next to the Christmas tree in the lobby, as an inspiration for all tenants.
Therefore, I am afraid this is a case of discrimination. Where does a group of non-Jews with no experience in this subject get the impression that displaying a menorah would be inappropriate and a divisive event. If a female body in a bikini was used, would this not cause similar problems?
I know that shopping centers around the country display a menorah alongside the Christmas tree, without any argument from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). I believe that we would be very well advised to invite ADL to observe our lighting ceremony and they can learn from our experience and perhaps visit us in February or March of next year at the annual Chanukah Caravan, which departs from our Winter Wonderland in Battery Park.
I hope that we will be able to bring a candlelighting ceremony to the residents for our Hanukkah celebration.