Holiday Menorah Stolen from Haddonfield Library Point

The 6-foot menorah was ripped from the ground in a theft reported on Wednesday afternoon.

A 6-foot, metal Hanukkah menorah was stolen from borough property in front of the Haddonfield Library overnight Tuesday.

The theft was reported on Wednesday afternoon, police said. An eyewitness reported seeing several police cars with emergency lights on and several men wearing yarmulkes, who appeared to be very agitated, shortly after 1 p.m. today at the scene. Police Chief John Banning confirmed the menorah was reported missing but declined further comment.

A metal bracket bolted to the ground with four screws protruding was all that was left of the menorah on Wednesday afternoon. It stood next to a sign reading: "Chabad Lubavitch wishes you a Happy Chanukah."

The menorah was erected by Chabad Lubavitch Synagogue of Cherry Hill. There are no synagogues in Haddonfield. Separate calls to the synagogue and the rabbi who applied for the menorah permit were not immediately returned.

Chabad Lubavitch has erected the menorah for most of the last decade. It was located near an evergreen tree on borough property that is lighted annually during the holiday season and a Nativity scene erected by a group called the Citizens for a Christian Christmas

This was the first year for the Nativity scene. Citizens for a Christan Christmas don't believe the decorated evergreen tree is a Christian symbol. A resident complained to the borough commissioners at a meeting on Tuesday that the Nativity scene was obstructing part of the tree and that its proximity to it could give the impression that the borough had sponsored the Nativity scene. Officials Tuesday assured the resident the borough had not sponsored any religious symbols.

"These are not sponsored events," borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said Wednesday. "They ask for permission to put them up and we grant them an event application to put a structure on our property."

A menorah lighting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Library Point, at the intersection of Haddon Avenue and Tanner Street. A borough official said synagogue members intend to erect another menorah. It was not immediately known if it would be erected in time for the ceremony Thursday.


Editor's note: Read an update to this story at .

Jeff H December 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM
Gary, glad to see you are open to hearing other opinions. Hope to see you around sometime!
Bill Reynolds December 23, 2011 at 01:24 AM
And a Joyous Holiday Season filled with malice toward none and good will to all. Bill Reynolds
Rebecca Savastio December 23, 2011 at 08:19 PM
Gary B.: It's very sad that some people want to prevent others from expressing their deeply held beliefs and I have to take issue with your comment about "the ones who got it wrong". As an Atheist, I was really upset when I read this story, and I would have been equally upset had it been the Christmas tree or other religious (or non-religious) symbol that had been stolen. The vast majority of non-believers respect and honor others, and want them to be able to live and express themselves freely. The founding fathers wanted a new nation where people were free to worship as they chose, and anyone interfering with someone else's right to express their beliefs dishonors the ideals upon which this nation was founded. Yes, there might be a few so-called Atheists out there who are so militant that they would try to interfere with religious symbols on public property, however, most would actually strongly defend the right to freedom of speech and religious expression. And I have a feeling that it was DEFINITELY not Atheists who committed this crime.
One road town December 25, 2011 at 01:05 AM
@Rebecca, Thank you for your well thought out and articulate response. While we may disagree on life's creation and origin, agreeing on the equal sharing of our land and respecting each other beliefs while we are on this earthly world would make it a better place :) .... And you are right, I doubt that an atheist did this horrible crime. If I may to try elaborate on my point about which you were troubled by, 'the ones that got it wrong'.... (I will try and keep it brief), The comment was made in part because as a 'group(s)' they are the ones that try and use to misinformation and the distortion of history to serve their agenda (whatever that may be...) An example, recently there is a group in Wisconsin that is an atheist group and they are demanding the removal of a nativity scene in Texas because it's near the courthouse and are threatening filing a lawsuit But as you stated, this might be one of those militant groups, but they are indeed using their own personal beliefs to drive this, not objectionable/fair or even just discourse to be validated. Rebecca I respect what you wrote and believe you are genuine in you thoughts, I mean no malice toward a singular group in general nor do I feel that they are out to malice my beliefs, but individuals who are abhorrently and grossly wrong such as Matt and Jeff they are the problem. As you said, being of faith or not, does not change how we should share land use that is all of ours :) Peace be with you :)
jerry tanenbaum December 27, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Well -- the menorah was found, trashed behind one of our schools. I had hoped that it had been metal theives behind the crime, but apparently not. This appears instead to have been an expression of hostility toward the inclusion of a faith-based display that is something other than Christian. As the local Jewish Haddonfield community has grown there have been such occassional issues. imagine what may occur if local residents of yet other faiths start seeking their own displays at the library. Would a crescent moon or a Bhudda be accepted by those who were offended by the Menorah? Gary - I'm not so certain that you can accurately state that athiests as a group are more prone to distortion than people of faith -- especially in the context of this crime. As you acknowledge, it is not likely athiests who would have been so bothered by one faith display as compared to another. And people of all faiths have certainly not been above distortions in misguided efforts to support their own perspectives, sometimes with rather horrific results. Just one tiny not so serious example -- how often do we hear today about "wars on Christmas" just because some are polite enough to say "Happy Holidays" in a commercial setting? In any event, I echo an earlier poster who wished everyone health and well-being in both this season and all seasons -- regardless of faith, or no faith etc. jerry


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