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NYC area signatories of letter protesting Klinghoffer opera as morally objectionable
Open Letter to Peter Gelb
September 22, 2014
Mr. Peter Gelb General Manager The Metropolitan Opera LincolnCenter New York, NY10023
Dear Mr. Gelb,
We have closely followed the events which have unfolded since the decision to stage “The Death of Klinghoffer” at The Metropolitan Opera.
In making the decision to stage this opera in New York at this time, it could well have been anticipated that this production, and the sensitivities around its story, would generate divisiveness. The disappointment and negative reaction that is now playing out is therefore not surprising.
There are many dimensions of this opera that are upsetting. In particular, the opera’s juxtaposition of terrorists and their victims on the same moral plane is gravely inappropriate. Moreover, this production runs the risk of legitimizing acts of terror, which is particularly sensitive now as anti-Jewish attacks and expressions of hatred against Jews have reached frightening levels around the globe, and innocent American journalists have been cruelly beheaded by radical Islamists.
As we would never try to find the humanity in those who perpetrated the barbarism of 9-11, whose 13th anniversary we just commemorated, it is surely morally objectionable to seek the same for Mr. Klinghoffer's executioners.
Mr. Gelb, while we recognize the steps you have taken to minimize the viewership outside of New York, we remain deeply disturbed that this production will be staged at the Metropolitan Opera.
Ronald G. Weiner, President, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
Alisa R. Doctoroff, President, UJA-Federation of New York
Linda Mirels, Chair of the Board, UJA-Federation of New York
Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York
Rabbi Steve Gutow, President and CEO, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Ethan Felson, Vice President and General Counsel, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, President, New York Board of Rabbis
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President, New York Board of Rabbis
Marcie Natan, President, Hadassah
Ellen Hershkin, Coordinator of the PRAZE Division, Hadassah
Gail Perl, President, WIZO USA
Martin Nachimson, President, Orthodox Union
Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President, Orthodox Union
Richard Skolnik, President, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Rabbi Steven Wernick, CEO, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Farley Weiss, President, National Council of Young Israel
Robert Levi, Chairman, National Council of Young Israel
Rabbi Yosef Blau, President, Religious Zionists of America
Martin Oliner, Chairman, Religious Zionists of America
Feliks Frenkel, Chairman of the Board, Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations
Roman Shmulenson, Executive Director, Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations
Jack Grunspan, Executive Vice President, Bnai Zion Foundation
Alicia Post, Director, Northeast Region, Bnai Zion Foundation
Michael Feinman, Greater New York Executive Director, Jewish National Fund
David Newman, Executive Director, JCRC-LI
Paul B. Warhit, President, Westchester Jewish Council
William H. Schrag, Executive Committee Member, Westchester Jewish Council
Gale S. Bindelglass, Chair, JCRC of the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ
Joy Kurland, Director, JCRC of the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ
Rabbi Steven Moss, President, SuffolkCountyBoard of Rabbis
Rabbi Michael Stanger, President, Long Island Board of Rabbis
Cynthia Zalisky, Executive Director, Queens Jewish Community Council
Stephen Reiner, President, Kings Bay YM-YWHA
Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director, Kings Bay YM-YWHA
Maya Gurevich, President, New York Association of Jews from the Former Soviet Union
Inna Arolovich, Vice President, New York Association of Jews from the Former Soviet Union
Zaki Tamir, Chairman, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council
Rabbi Eli Cohen, Executive Director, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council
Avrohom Hecht, Executive Director, JCC of Canarsie
Michael Rosenbaum, President, Board of Directors, Sid Jacobson JCC
David Black, Executive Director, Sid Jacobson JCC
Steven Markowitz, Chairman, Holocaust Memorial and ToleranceCenter of Nassau County
Avi Posnick, New York Regional Coordinator, StandWithUs