Park District Allows Menorah On Riverwalk After Initially Rejecting It


naperville-menorahOn Thursday, a day before Chanukah, the Naperville Park District agreed to allow a local Jewish group to include a menorah alongside an X-mas display on the city’s Riverwalk after initially rejecting the request because it violated city ordinance.Two weeks ago, the Chabad Jewish Center of Naperville asked to display the 6-foot-4-inch tall menorah, but the district turned down the request because it violated an ordinance preventing private entities from erecting or installing symbols or signs on the Riverwalk, said district attorney Derke Price.

So the group offered to comply with the ordinance by donating the menorah to the district. Thursday night, the district accepted the menorah, and Price said the city would erect it at the Riverwalk before Friday evening.

The group already has permission to display a menorah in Naperville Municipal Center.

Price said the district’s initial decision to reject the group’s request had nothing to do with religion, but instead was meant to “protect the Riverwalk from becoming a public forum.” “We have a designated place in the Park District for free speech events, but the Riverwalk is not one of them,” he said.

Rabbi Mendy Goldstein, director of the Chabad of Naperville, said he was “very happy that the Park District agreed.”

He said it was important that the menorah be displayed because it represented a “universal message of good over evil and light over darkness.”

{Chicago Tribune/ Newscenter}


  1. With all do respect to Lubavich, I think it’s a mistake to put up Menorahs in public places. As fortunate as we are to be living in a country that is so kind to the Jews, never the less, Eisav soneh Yaakov, and all of these things adds to the antisemitism. Let there be xmas trees everywhere, who cares. I don’t want to see menorahs or cars with menorahs on them. We are not in Israel. When we go to shul on Shabbos where there is no eiruv, we are told to place our talis under our jackets, in order not to “raitz un” the goiyim. What’s the difference? (Pirsumei nissa has no shaichis, that’s for us.)