The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) applauded a decision by the New York Mets organization to honor its commitment to the Hebron Fund and allow the group to hold its annual dinner at the Caesar’s Club at Citi Field on November 21, 2009.
In a letter sent to New York Mets CEO Frank Wilpon, Mets President Saul Katz, and Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon, NCYI President Shlomo Z. Mostofsky praised the Mets organization “for its refusal to accede to the gratuitous calls to cancel an event planned at the Caesar’s Club at Citi Field on November 21, 2009.”
“In essence, the Hebron Fund dinner is a celebration of the human spirit,” Mostofsky wrote. “The New York Mets organization is not facilitating a political event; rather it is enabling a salute to a group of men, women, and children whose determination and inner strength have allowed them to remain in their communities, despite desperate attempts by Israel’s adversaries to drive them from their homes.”
Eleven organizations, including Jews Against the Occupation-NYC, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the WESPAC Foundation, recently sent a letter to the New York Mets asking the team to cancel plans to host the Hebron Fund’s event at Citi Field. “The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the Obama administration’s call for a freeze in settlement construction, and that actively promote racial discrimination, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron,” wrote the eleven groups.
The full text of the Young Israel Movement’s letter follows below.
November 6, 2009
Frank Wilpon, Chairman of the Board and CEO
Saul Katz, President
Jeff Wilpon, Chief Operating Officer
New York Mets
Flushing, New York 11368-1699
Dear Messrs. Wilpon and Katz:
On behalf of the National Council of Young Israel, which represents 250 branch synagogues throughout the United States and Israel and approximately 25,000 member families, I am writing to express our deepest gratitude to the New York Mets organization for its refusal to accede to the gratuitous calls to cancel an event planned at the Caesar’s Club at Citi Field on November 21, 2009.
The annual event of the Hebron Fund, which is being held in your facility, is a tribute dinner to honor the heroic Jewish community of Hebron in Israel. Without engaging in a political discussion of Middle East policy, it is safe to say that paying tribute to a relatively small Jewish community that has persevered in the wake of great adversity is an innocuous act that should be free of any criticism. Surrounded on all sides by the enemies of the State of Israel, the Jewish families in the city of Hebron have nonetheless resolved to go about their daily lives with a sense of both normalcy and pride.
In essence, the Hebron Fund dinner is a celebration of the human spirit. The New York Mets organization is not facilitating a political event; rather it is enabling a salute to a group of men, women, and children whose determination and inner strength have allowed them to remain in their communities, despite desperate attempts by Israel’s adversaries to drive them from their homes.
Your refusal to be intimidated by abhorrent acts of coercion by the groups calling for the cancellation of the Hebron Fund event is extremely noteworthy. By rejecting the hate-filled calls to inhibit the Hebron Fund’s freedom of expression and standing firm in its beliefs of what is right, the New York Mets organization displayed a degree of intestinal fortitude that is genuinely appreciated not just by our organization, but by the greater Jewish community. Our organization has heard from numerous individuals, many of whom are Mets fans, who have told us how proud they are of their team and its ownership for their public stance relating to the Hebron Fund dinner.
Thank you again for being supportive of the Hebron Fund. We greatly appreciate your continued efforts on behalf of the community.
Very truly yours,
Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, Esq.