Moncton city council urged to revisit the ‘insensitive and callous’ end to municipal menorah lighting

Moncton City Hall, where councillors will meet on Dec. 4, 2023—three days before Hanukkah starts—to likely debate their abrupt end to religious symbols on city property. (Photo by Wayne Hsieh/Flickr Creative Commons)

The City of Moncton’s abrupt decision to quietly halt the display of all religious symbols on municipal property—including the Hanukkah menorah it owns—came as a shock to the New Brunswick city’s Jewish community. The decision was made on Nov. 27 during a closed-door council session. It came one week before the community was expecting to participate in the annual lighting of the menorah, a tradition that’s been celebrated at City Hall for 20 years.

The resulting public outcry over the weekend has included a petition, social media posts from all over the world and a flood of emails to the municipality. While the mayor has not commented, the issue is likely to be revisited on Dec. 4, when Moncton’s city council holds its bimonthly public meeting. At least three city councillors have publicly condemned how the process was conducted in secret, including Ward two councillor Daniel Bourgeois, who vowed to The CJN he’ll try to have the issue added to the agenda when the meeting starts at 4 p.m. local time.

On The CJN Daily, host Ellin Bessner is joined by Bourgeois and also by Leigh Lampert, a Moncton-born lawyer who is a member of that city’s Jewish community.

What we talked about

  • Read more about the Jewish community of Moncton’s deep hurt over city decision to end decade’s-old Menorah lighting ceremony, in The CJN
  • Watch the Moncton city council meeting on Dec. 4 on Rogers Cable (taped, not live) beginning at 9 p.m. Moncton time
  • Learn more about the petition to have the Menorah reinstated, on


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.