ROCKLAND — Days after vandals knocked down a menorah at Ferry Terminal Park, nearly 100 people turned out to show support for the Jewish community as the relocated menorah was lit.

Stuart Finkelstein of the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue thanked those who attended the lighting ceremony Dec. 18 for their support.

“It’s cold outside but it warms my heart to have so many people here,” Finkelstein said.

He acknowledged it had been a challenging and sad week.

The menorah had originally been erected at the park overlooking the Maine State Ferry Terminal. On Tuesday night Dec. 13/14, the menorah was unbolted, knocked down, and some of the lightbulbs broken.

The menorah was then moved to Mildred Merrill Park on the other end of Main Street.

Finkelstein offered some opening remarks before prayers were read and two lights on the menorah lit. On Thursday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. there will be a Hanukkah party with food, music and candle lighting at Mildred Merrill Park.

Rockland Main Street conducted a fundraiser to buy the menorah.

David Statman, Board President of Adas Yoshuron Synagogue in Rockland and Rockland Main Street Executive Director David Gogel issued a joint statement on Thursday, Dec. 15 after the vandalism.

“This week, the Rockland community Hanukkah menorah was vandalized. It was toppled over and some of the bulbs were broken. For millennia, Hanukkah has been a celebration of religious freedom. The Hanukkah menorah provides the light that shines on that religious freedom. In the United States, we are proud that we have the freedom to share that light with the communities in which we live. We are saddened that a small minority of community members have taken an action that stands in stark contrast with Rockland’s mission to be a welcoming and inclusive community. Our hope is that the greater Rockland community and the people of Midcoast Maine strongly condemn these acts and celebrate the religious diversity and tolerance we value in this country. This time of year should be about celebration and the recognition of the traditions that bring us together. We will continue to advocate for all traditions that are meaningful to our community and add to the vibrancy of the place we call home.”

Nearly 100 people turned out Sunday night, Dec. 18 at Mildred Merrill Park for the lighting of the menorah. Photo by Stephen Betts