EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) – An Evergreen rabbi is protesting a decision to ban a menorah from being displayed at a local park.
In past years a menorah was put up on the Evergreen Lake House, but this year the Evergreen Parks and Recreation District decided against the display.
The property is owned by the City and County of Denver, but it is managed by Evergreen Parks and Rec. Although Evergreen’s policy is that only non-denominational displays are allowed on public property, an exception was made for holiday lights and a menorah since they had been there in previous years.
The exception is why some members of the Jewish community, including Evergreen Rabbi Levi Brackman, don’t understand why a menorah is being banned this year.
The Evergreen Parks and Recreation District says it’s changing the policy. Since the property doesn’t belong to it, the board never had the authority to make rules or exceptions. The new rules will be consistent with the City and County of Denver that don’t allow symbols or displays specific to any one religion on public property.
“I actually call upon the mayor of Denver to get involved here and say this is ludicrous. Denver should not be dictating policy in Evergreen, and neither should Denver want to dictate policy in Evergreen,” Brackman said. “I think Denver should move out and say, ‘We leased you the property, you make the decisions.’ “
“Really we should never have had a policy that allows an exemption for one religious display and not all, and particularly on this site that is owned by the City and County of Denver,” Scott Robson with Evergreen Parks and Recreation said. “Our previous board never had the authority to grant an exception around the menorah specifically.”
There is a large tree with colored, holiday lights on the Lake House property. But Denver approved the colored lights, saying they’re not specific to any one religion and consistent with the rules.