Jewish residents upset when town removes menorah, keeps tree

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Some residents in a Jewish enclave in New Jersey are upset that officials removed a menorah from the town square but kept the Christmas tree.  Lakewood has displayed a decorated tree and small menorah for decades.  Mayor Albert Akerman tells the Asbury Park Press that this year a resident sought to add a nativity scene. He says the woman threatened to sue if her request wasn’t approved.  The township attorney reviewed the matter and recommended removing the menorah, as well as one displayed in town hall, until he could recommend an alternative display. The tree remains up, because it is not considered a religious symbol under the law.  A Jewish businessman, however, says that leaves the township promoting Christianity. Harold Herskowitz says it makes no sense that a menorah is a problem in Lakewood “of all places.”