Open Letter to Theater J’s Ari Roth From Local Rabbi

This open letter was published by The Washington Jewish Week before the newspaper was purchased by the “Federation Group.” Rabbi Weinblatt, a good friend of Israel, also is on the Board of The Federation.

Washington Jewish Week
April 9, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear Mr. Roth,

I have been reading about the controversy over the production, “Seven Jewish Children.” I find it most disturbing that our local JCC would want to put on a play with such negative portrayals of Israelis and Jews and such harsh judgment. Why not just put on a dramatization of “Protocols of the Elders of Zion?” There are more than enough people who hate Jews. We do not need to aid their cause by giving them extra ammunition. This play, which originally premiered in England, was deemed anti-Semitic by a theater in Ireland. It is beyond me why our own JCC would put on a production that is considered too toxic and anti-Semitic for a European venue. The fact that the author wanted all contributions to go to a fund for Palestinian children says a great deal about the orientation of the author and the intent of the play.

I would hope that more careful consideration is given to the impact of staging anti-Semitic plays.

Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt
Congregation B’nai Tzedek