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Havering Council, the London Jewish Forum, the Essex Jewish Community Council and local Rabbis Sufrin and Sunderland met early today to discuss the council’s decision to pause the installation of a permanent Chanukah Menorah outside the town hall.
The parties discussed the reasons behind the pause and the representatives from the Jewish community were able to reassure the council on the concerns it had previously expressed.
Consequently the council has confirmed its intention to proceed with the permanent installation of the Menorah as originally planned. In addition, the candle lighting ceremony will go ahead as arranged on December 12.
The leader of Havering Council, Councillor Ray Morgon, said: “We had a very constructive meeting to discuss our concerns and I fully appreciate why this is such an important instillation for our Jewish community. We look forward to the completion of the permanent installation and our first Chanukah ceremony.
“We also look forward to continuing to work closely with our Jewish community and other faiths on our commitment to a cohesive and inclusive borough.”
Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin MBE, executive director of Chabad North London & Essex, said: “Following a positive meeting we are absolutely delighted that council leader Ray Morgon carefully listened to us and has come to the conclusion that we will continue with our original plans for Havering Town Hall to host our Menorah for the duration of Chanukah.
“The Essex Jewish community has proudly been displaying Menorahs for 35 years and this is our tenth and newest. We look forward to celebrating together with the entire Jewish community of Havering and beyond at our very special celebration on Tuesday December 12.”
Daniella Myers, director of the London Jewish Forum, said: “The London Jewish Forum thanks the council for meeting us at short notice, and for their careful consideration of our views. The London Jewish Forum was able to provide the wider picture, which had important implications beyond Havering.”
Daniel Rosenberg, chair of the Essex Jewish Community Council, said: “Our community is delighted that this has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties and that our Menorah will be proudly displayed at Havering Town Hall for the duration of this important festival.”