Debate raged in a small New Jersey town. It was 1980, and a large Chanukah menorah had been erected in the garden of the courthouse in Hackensack, New Jersey. The menorah attracted Jews, and heightened the holiday awareness and celebration in the area.

By that time, public menorahs were on display in cities across the United States of America, including one in the nation’s capital, in front of the White House.

The following year, the Teaneck Jewish Community Council reached a unanimous decision opposing a similar menorah outside City Hall, which the local Chabad rabbi was planning to erect. They planned to raise the issue with the town council.

The local Chabad emissary responded that nonetheless, he was planning to erect the menorah, as permitted by American law. He continued to dedicate his time to planning the project.

Below, read the fascinating correspondence with the Teaneck Jewish Community Council and the Rebbe.