To the list of Jewish holidays that should be observed in a traditional way, we now can add observing a menorah next to the Christmas tree at Christmas time. Ever since they’ve received a state grant they’ve installed a menorah in the lobby of their co-op.
At Webster Plaza in midtown Manhattan there is an interesting sideshow. Non-Jewish residents — who often have a hard time finding kosher options, so this program could be a welcome sight — can say hi to a brightly lit menorah. Kosher residents can enjoy its peaceful presence. And non-Jewish families might take away the idea that it is okay to celebrate in non-kosher ways. Everyone can enjoy the holiday atmosphere.
New York City is home to so many different ethnicities, flavors and beliefs that taking a good look into co-op complexes seems like a great way to have a good time. At Webster Plaza, at least, everyone can enjoy participating.
Last year, president Eleanor Tracy was quoted as saying, “We are thrilled to be able to carry out this activity in a way that allows all to be as excited about their holidays as we are.” What may be encouraging about this new year is that at Webster Plaza in 2019 we’ll see this behavior continue.
Beyond celebration is tolerance. Webster Plaza knows that by celebrating with a menorah while preserving the traditional display, they are honoring both their Jewish residents and those from other religions. The menorah at Webster Plaza shows that the Jewish holiday tradition can coexist, with the rabbi and the homeless.