The Wellesley Town Hall interior renovation was among the challenges in setting up the usual outside holiday display of a Christmas Tree, Menorah, and Crescent Moon, but the symbols are now in place and ready to glow.
Wellesley Executive Director Meghan Jop said: “Power and logistical issues resulting from the ongoing, significant construction at Wellesley Town Hall have been resolved, and the Town’s holiday symbols are now in place in front of Town Hall.”
Town leadership thanked the Public Works Department and Natural Resources Commission staff for their work, and the public for its input.
The town now features holiday lighting and wreaths on poles, plus a tree lit next to the Wellesley Square fire station as part of the Holiday Stroll activities over the weekend.
Concerns had been raised by the community that there was no public Menorah lighting, and a petition to have a lighting gained about 900 signatures before the organizer declared victory (“We stand together and stronger the ever!”). Others have shared opinions that no symbols associated with religions should be displayed in front of such government buildings.
Talks had been underway between town officials and religious leaders for the past couple of weeks regarding the display, and Wellesley Weston Chabad’s Rabbi Moshe Bleich said that he’s happy the Menorah will be lit in front of Town Hall.
“It’s a symbol that brings light and hope to all those who believe in it,” he said. The optics of not having the Menorah there this year in particular, in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, would not have been good, he said. Menorahs are displayed in front of the White House, at all 50 state capitols, and by more than 100 municipalities across Massachusetts, he said.
Updated on 12/5/23: Separately from the Menorah display at Town Hall, a Menorah lighting event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 4pm in front of Wellesley Town Hall. Celebrate Chanukah with a fire show, the lighting, music, gelt drop, and more (a similar event will take place at Weston Town Hall on Dec. 12 at 5:30pm). See highlights from last year’s event.