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Massachusetts town apologizes after using Christian menorah photo in holiday display

18 6 3

JTA — A small municipal holiday event turned into a big problem for Medford, Massachusetts, after a city worker included a menorah picture produced by Messianic Jews in a display about world religions.

The suburb of Boston apologized for the display, which appeared during last week’s Holiday Extravaganza, a city event aimed at promoting local businesses. But the episode has left some local Jewish residents asking, not for the first time, whether they are truly considered a part of the local community.

Medford, a city that is part of the dense core of Boston’s metropolitan area, is home to Tufts University and claims as native sons both the author of “Jingle Bells” and Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City whose family had to buy a home in the town surreptitiously to circumvent local antisemitism.

Some Medford Jews felt like important progress had been made this year after the city school district, for the first time in recent history, canceled classes for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Sarah Beardslee, a Jewish resident of Medford for 30 years, said the city had recently sought to demonstrate that it values diversity. “This is just another example of how that’s really not the case,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency of the holiday display.

The issue began shortly after the Holiday Extravaganza on Wednesday evening, when the town posted pictures from the event. Along with photos with Santa, a wreath sale and the lighting of the town Christmas tree, the holiday event featured a table inside City Hall with framed descriptions of holiday symbols.

One set of pictures showcased the history of Christmas trees. Another........

© The Times of Israel

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