Holiday decor take on secular tone in Briarcliff Manor

Briarcliff Manor has revamped its annual holiday display after being sued for religious discrimination last year.

A 6-foot tree has been put on display in Law Park and will be accompanied by a 6-foot dreidel. The more secular decorations are costing taxpayers $4,000.

Henry Ritell sued the village in 2006 when he was denied permission to place a crèche alongside a Christmas tree and menorah at the display. Ritell argued the menorah was a religious symbol while the tree was secular, and he should be allowed to display a Catholic symbol as well.

A federal judge agreed with Ritell, and ordered the menorah be taken down or the crèche be put up. The village opted to remove all decorations.

The tree and dreidel will be joined by a lit sign that reads "The Village of Briarcliff Manor extends Holiday greetings and wishes for peace to all." Officials expect the holiday display to be up by this week.

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