Tradition reverses decision on cancelling menorah lighting ceremony

Posted at 11:52 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 04:09:20-05

Some Port St. Lucie residents are left scratching their heads and wanting answers.

The Tradition community association called off their annual menorah lighting ceremony after nearly a decade.

However, as of Wednesday afternoon, it was back on.

Rabbi Shlomo Uminer says the original decision to call off the ceremony came down from the community association.

"I was told that they're not going to allow me to do it, they're not going to have any religious events going on," the rabbi says.

He says that order came as Christmas lights and a Christmas tree adorn the town square.

The explanation from the association is that the tree lighting wasn't a religious event, but the menorah lighting is.

"I thought it was ill advised and very disappointing," Rabbi Shlomo says.

That disappointment and anger spread through social media throughout the day Wednesday - some saying it felt like discrimination.

Wednesday afternoon came an about face.

After meeting with officials, Rabbi Shlomo says he was allowed to proceed with the lighting.

He's happy with the outcome and wants to move forward, but one thing still remains unanswered in his mind - why did the association try to stop it in the first place?

"That's a good question," Rabbi Shlomo says.

Other folks in the Port Saint Lucie community are wondering the same thing.

"Very unusual and very out of character for Tradition," says Susie LeClair

I'm Jewish, I've lived in the community for 13 years," says Brooke Henkel. "If you're going to put a Christmas tree up, you should be able to put up a menorah."

We reached out to Tradition leaders, but no one called us back.

The Rabbi says the menorah lighting will go on as planned, for it’s 9 year on December 27.