What Mayor John Mirisch said was the first menorah lighting ceremony at Beverly Hills City Hall was held Monday evening to mark the second night of Hanukkah.

Mirisch said he had “been suggesting this for a number of years” but “there was some hesitation from some of the other council members because” of concern of violating the separation of church and state.

City Attorney (Laurence Wiener) “suggested we should have symbols of (other) holidays, including a Christmas tree” and celebrate “the cultural and historical” themes of Hanukkah, rather than the religious ones, to maintain “the separation of church and state,” Mirisch said.

The proposal won “the support of most of the council,” Mirisch told City News Service.

Mirisch said he would like the menorah lighting ceremony to become an annual event at Beverly Hills City Hall celebrating Judaism’s eight-day commemoration of the temple rededication that followed the Maccabees’ victory over a larger Syrian army.

A menorah lighting ceremony was also held Monday at Long Beach City Hall. One was held Sunday at Culver City City Hall. Menorah lighting ceremonies have been held at Los Angeles City Hall for many years.

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