FSWC Welcomes Moncton’s Reversal of Discriminatory Ban on Chanukah Menorah Outside City Hall

December 4, 2023

News Release

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Toronto (December 4, 2023) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) welcomes the City of Moncton’s decision today to reinstate the menorah outside City Hall, after last week’s widely criticized announcement to end its 20-year tradition of displaying the Chanukah symbol on its grounds.

Moncton City Council voted unanimously today to reverse the earlier decision. It follows outrage from the Jewish community in Moncton, across Canada and internationally.

In a letter issued to Mayor Dawn Arnold yesterday, FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt expressed deep concern over Moncton’s decision to ban the menorah from the annual holiday display outside of City Hall. “Jewish communities across Canada, including in Moncton, have been facing a truly horrific wave of virulent antisemitism for weeks now, and this baseless decision only adds to their pain,” Levitt wrote, adding that “the decision was wrong and reeks of discrimination” and calling on the mayor to “reverse this decision and issue an apology to the local Moncton Jewish community.”

“It’s now more important than ever that the glowing light of the menorah shine at Moncton City Hall, as it’s a wonderful opportunity to bring Jews and non-Jews together to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights,” Levitt added.

In an apology issued today, Mayor Arnold said, “We recognize the lack of reflection and understanding of the impact this decision has had on our community. We apologize if our actions showed a lack of support toward any members of our community.”

FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt issued the following statement in response to Moncton’s reinstatement of the menorah outside City Hall:

“Today, the City of Moncton took the right step in reversing its reprehensible ban on the menorah from Moncton City Hall. This outrageous decision, which flies in the face of inclusivity and equality, should never have been made. At this time of surging antisemitism, our government leaders should be showing their support for and embracing the Jewish community, not adding salt to the wound. We welcome Mayor Arnold’s apology and recognition of the hurt the decision caused to Jewish people in Moncton and across the country.”