Last week vandal(s) destroyed a prized menorah that has been a component of an ecumenical holiday display at a town square in Salisbury for about two decades. The Jewish religious symbol, along with a Christmas tree, is the focal point of an annual community holiday ceremony that will take place on Friday, December 7th at 4 PM in the evening. Town of Hempstead carpenters have built a new menorah, which will replace the demolished symbol, in time for the Salisbury community holiday ceremony. Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray; Councilman Gary Hudes; Helen Meittinis, President of the Community Association of Stewart Avenue (CASA); Rabbi Simcha Zamir of Temple Sholom and Gary Shapiro, Detective Lieutenant, Nassau County Police Department, were present for the menorah unveiling.
“Vandals destroyed a prized religious symbol, but they could not break our holiday spirit,” said Supervisor Murray. “We’ve rebuilt the beloved menorah in time for a festive holiday celebration and a Happy Hanukkah.”
The menorah was built by the local civic association (CASA) and donated to the town approximately two decades ago according to Helen Meittinis, President of CASA. Each year the town prepares the ecumenical display at the Salisbury community square on Carman Avenue, just south of Stewart Avenue. Community members of all faiths gather for a holiday lighting ceremony. Choirs offer holiday songs and hot chocolate is served, creating a family-friendly celebration of the season.
“I am happy that our town workers were able to build a new menorah in less than a week’s time so that the Salisbury holiday ceremony could take place,” said Hudes. “This community always pulls together in the face of adversity, and we refuse to let vandals destroy our holiday season this year.”
The menorah was originally placed at the community square on November 30th, and it was discovered in shambles the next morning. Murray and Hudes immediately called upon town carpenters to build a new menorah in time for the annual holiday gathering on December 7th. Town officials also reported the menorah’s destruction to the Nassau County Police Department, which is investigating the incident.
“I want to thank the Salisbury community for joining together in the spirit of the holidays to rebuild this menorah. This season people of all faiths will celebrate together with an enhanced sense of love and community unity,” concluded Murray.