Lansing Mayor Andy Schor continues to fight for a menorah to be permanently displayed in front of the Michigan State Capitol during the holidays.
On Nov. 22, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor was successfully able to light a 9-foot menorah alongside the 61-foot Christmas tree in front of the Michigan State Capitol during the Silver Bells in the City event.
Later that night the menorah was taken down and returned to City Hall, where it will stay in the lobby during the holiday season.
This is not the first time the Capitol has been in the spotlight regarding the menorah. On Nov. 12, Michigan State Senator Jeremy Moss proposed a resolution to permanently keep the menorah on the Capitol lawn alongside the state’s Christmas tree.
Senator Moss’ resolution was not taken up by either chamber.
In response, Mayor Schor is advocating for the menorah to stand next to the Christmas tree during the eight days of Chanukah.
The obstacle Mayor Schor is currently facing is whether the Capitol grounds is property of the city or state. If it’s state property, then it’s their decision to make on what is displayed on the lawn. If it’s city property, then Mayor Schor and the citizens of Lansing have the right to have a menorah displayed on the lawn as long as they have the correct permits.
“We’re trying to do some research right now,” Mayor Schor said. “If the property is the state’s, then we won’t put a menorah up. However, it’s disappointing to see that they have chosen not to display the menorah alongside the Christmas tree.”
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, executive director of the JCRC/AJC, agrees with Mayor Schor.
“There has to be some balance,” Rabbi Lopatin said. “If there is going to be a Christmas tree up then we should be able to show our support for the Jewish community and display a menorah during the eight days of Chanukah.”
Mayor Schor is not advocating for the state’s Christmas tree to come down — he just wants to see everyone being celebrated during the holiday season.
“Lansing is a very inclusive city,” Mayor Schor said. “Everyone should be able to celebrate their faith and beliefs equally.”
The Lansing community has shown support for Mayor Schor’s office, thanking him for taking up this issue. Even people in the legislature have expressed that what he is fighting for is worthwhile.
“We already have a request for a menorah to be put up in that space for the eight days of Chanukah,” Mayor Schor said. “We have an appropriate permitting process and if it turns out to be our property, we are prepared to go through this process to ensure that the menorah is on display.”