Image via PANYNJ Portfolio blog
For the past seven years, PAPD Lt. Scot Pomerantz, president of the Port Authority’s Shomrim Society, has been leading the effort to return a menorah to the rebuilt World Trade Center Site. Before September 11th, two identical 7½ foot menorahs were installed every Hanukkah season inside the Twin Towers, where they stood as fixtures of the holiday season before the tragic attacks destroyed them. Now, thanks to the work of Pomerantz and his Shomrim Society team, a new menorah has returned to site for the first time since 9/11.
One of the original World Trade Center menorahs. Image via PANYNJ Portfolio blog
Bonnie and Michael Berkowicz, the creators of the original menorahs, were called on to create a new design, which incorporates a piece of World Trade Center steel as a symbol of resiliency. On December 18, in a celebratory public ceremony, the new menorah was re-dedicated and lit by members of the Shomrim Society at the World Trade Center Oculus to mark Hanukkah.
“The design of the menorah is meant to show that individuals, as individual threads, may be weak, but when woven together as a united community, they become strong,” said Michael Berkowicz. “Ceremonial objects like menorahs have, for thousands of years, been used to enhance and bring meaning to celebrations, and this Hanukkah menorah is one of these special objects.”
Lt. Scot Pomerantz (center, back row) stands with other members of the Shomrim Society. Image via PANYNJ Portfolio blog
“We now have a beautiful new WTC that stands as a symbol of resilience to those who tried but failed to change our way of life,” Pomerantz said. “Our menorah, like the new WTC, is reborn, like the Hanukkah story. We wanted to make sure all who see this menorah remember the days when the original menorah stood in freedom.”
To view the menorah, head to the east side of the Oculus on the C2 level, where it will be on display until January 7.