COVID Reopening and Reentry

Open Letter to Peter Gelb

 Please read the letter below and click here to add your name.

September 22, 2014

Mr. Peter Gelb
General Manager
The Metropolitan Opera
Lincoln Center
New York, NY 10023

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 VP 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
Lynn Schusterman, Co-Chair, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
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, Suffolk County Board of Rabbis
Rabbi Michael Stanger, President, Long Island Board of Rabbis
Cynthia Zalisky, Executive Director, Queens Jewish Community Council
Warren Hecht, President, 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 Tolerance Center of Nassau County
Fred Teng, President, America China Public Affairs Institute
Avi Posnick, New York Regional Coordinator, StandWithUs
Mathew Lazar, Founder & Director, Zamir Choral Foundation
Sarri Singer, Founder and Director, Strength to Strength
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun
Rabbi Howard Stecker, Senior Rabbi,Temple Israel of Great Neck
Alan M. Klinger, President Temple Israel of Great Neck
Jonathan Jaffe, Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester
Rabbi Rafi Rank, Rabbi, Midway Jewish Center
Rabbi Marci Bellows, Rabbi, Temple B’nai Torah
Rabbi Claudio J. Kupchik, Rabbi, Temple Beth El of Manhattan Beach
Lester Bleich, President, Young Israel of West Hempstead
Rabbi Dr. Alan F. Lavin, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beth Tikvah
Rabbi Ari Jacobson, Rabbi, Young Israel of Monsey and Wesley Hills
Rabbi Yisroel Gottlieb, Rabbi, Congregation Bais Torah
Rabbi Jacob Herber, Rabbi, Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid
Ben Davis, Executive DIrector, Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley
Cheri DeKofsky, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Ventura County-California
Rabbi David Lerner, Rabbi, Temple Emunah
Nancy Fisher, Interim Co-Executive Director, Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest NJ
Laura Zimmerman, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Hartford

*Full list in formation