By the Grace of G‑d
13 Kislev, 5742 [December 9, 1981]

Jewish community council of Teaneck
L. Gissen, President
Teaneck, N.J.

Greeting and Blessing:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Dec. 2.

Because of the time element involved, I hasten to reply via S.D. [special delivery], although my reply at this point is only preliminary. The reason for this is that the matter of placing a Menorah on town property, which seems to have been made an "issue" in your community, is not a new idea, or a new problem - constitutional, legal, proper, or otherwise - that has to be weighed and determined. The fact is that there are numerous precedents over the years in various parts of the U.S.A. To mention a most conspicuous one is the public lighting of a Chanukah Menorah on public property in the Nation's capital. It was in 1979 that a huge Menorah was installed in Lafayette park, across the street from the White House, with President Carter personally participating in the ceremony. Like all matters relating to the president of the United States, this event, too, received wide national coverage. Since then, the Menorah in Washington has become an annual event.

Let me emphasize that the Menorah in the Nation's capitol was introduced without anyone making an issue of it, as a self-evident event in the public interest. That it was also constitutional, legal and proper goes without saying, since the president of the U.S. personally participated in it.

I must confess that failure to take account of the above by the J.C.C. has left me perplexed and amazed. After receiving a clarification of this point, I will be able to address myself to the contents of your letter.

With esteem and blessing for a bright
and inspiring Chanukah,

M. Schneerson