A Joint Statement from Havering Council and Jewish Community Leaders about Havering's Chanukah Celebrations

Jewish community leaders meet at the Havering Town Hall, Romford
(L-R): Daniella Myers – Director of the London Jewish Forum, Marcus Chrysostomou – Head of Communications at Havering Council, Rabbi Lee Sunderland of Romford and District Synagogue, Cllr Ray Morgon – Leader of Havering Council, Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin MBE - Executive Director of Chabad North London & Essex, Daniel Rosenberg - Chair of the Essex Jewish Community Council.
Published: Friday, 1 December 2023

A Joint Statement from Havering Council and Jewish Community Leaders about Havering's Chanukah Celebrations

Havering Council, the London Jewish Forum, the Essex Jewish Community Council and local Rabbis Sufrin and Sunderland met early today to discuss the Council’s decision to pause the installation of the permanent Chanukah Menorah outside the Town Hall.

In the meeting, the parties discussed the reasons behind the pause in a constructive manner and the representatives from the Jewish community were able to reassure the Council on all of the concerns it had previously expressed.

Following this, the parties are delighted to announce that the Council has confirmed its intention to proceed with the permanent installation of the Menorah as originally planned.

In addition to the permanent Menorah, the candle lighting ceremony is going ahead as arranged on 12 December.

The Leader of Havering Council, Councillor Ray Morgon, said:

“We had a very constructive meeting to discuss our concerns and I fully appreciate why this is such an important installation for our Jewish community.

"We look forward to the completion of the permanent installation and our first Chanukah ceremony.

“We also look forward to continuing to work closely with our Jewish community and other faiths on our commitment to a cohesive and inclusive borough.”

Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin MBE, Executive Director of Chabad North London & Essex, said:

“Following a positive meeting at Havering Council we are absolutely delighted that Council Leader Ray Morgon carefully listened to us and has come to the conclusion that we will all continue with our original plans for Havering Town Hall to host our Menorah for the duration of Chanukah.

"The Essex Jewish community has proudly been displaying Menorahs for 35 years and this is our tenth and newest.

"We look forward to celebrating together with the entire Jewish community of Havering and beyond at our very special celebration on Tuesday 12 December.”

Daniella Myers, the Director of the London Jewish Forum, said:

“The London Jewish Forum thanks the Council for meeting us at short notice, and for their careful consideration of our views. The London Jewish Forum was able to provide the wider picture, which had important implications beyond Havering.

"Our community has been listened to and as a result we are very pleased to say the planned installation of the Havering Menorah will be going ahead.

"We encourage all those who want to celebrate with the Havering Jewish community to join us on Tuesday 12 December.”

Daniel Rosenberg, Chair of the Essex Jewish Community Council, said: 

“Our community is delighted that this has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties and that our Menorah will be proudly displayed at Havering Town Hall for the duration of this important festival.”