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The Maryland Daily Record

Maryland Business: The Daily Record's business blog

Tis the season of lights.

Nov 29, 2012
By: Melody Simmons

Look for installation this coming week of a nearly 34-foot menorah in McKeldin Square at the Inner Harbor. It will be the second year the giant symbol of Hanukkah will grace one of the city’s busiest corners.

Lighting will begin on the first day of the eight-day holiday, Dec. 9, at dusk.

The menorah was donated by Owings Mills developer Howard Brown, president of David S. Brown Enterprises, the builder of Metro Centre. Brown said this week he had the menorah designed and built last year to resemble one located at Fifth Avenue at Central Park in New York City, near the busy and ultra-modern Apple computer retail store and, of course, The Plaza Hotel.

He said Baltimore’s is the largest menorah on the East Coast, besting Gotham’s by about three feet in height. Both are made of steel trusses, weighing about 4,000 pounds each.

“You see they do it in Central Park, Bal Harbor and all over the major metropolitan cities, and to me, it’s no different than putting a Christmas tree up,” Brown said. “Why put a Christmas tree up at Rockefeller Center? I don’t see it’s any different.”

Brown said a small group of Jewish leaders obtained a city permit for the nine-candle menorah, which will be taken down after the eighth day. A new candle will be lit (with the flick of a switch because they are electric) nightly.

“You see a lot of Christmas-related decorations, but very seldom do you see these Jewish decoration,” Brown said. “Baltimore has a large Orthodox Jewish community in the Park Heights area and it’s meaningful for the Orthodox and conservative and reform. It’s festive. This really is something that brings the community together a bit.”

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