Target: Steven Cadranel, President of Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
Goal: Apologize for cancelling liberal Jewish writer’s event
Peter Beinart, an avid blogger and writer on Jewish politics, was slotted to present at the book festival hosted by the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. The event, which gathered a total of 52 authors, promised Beinart a spot at this festival. Beinart is the editor of the blog, Open Zion, which presents quite liberal views on Zionism, which is a form of Jewish nationalism. However, due to complaints from some locals of the Jewish community, the center decided to cancel Beinart’s event. His liberal views on the Jewish culture may be too much for some of the locals, but that does not excuse the center for censoring him and his work.
The book festival is a two-week-long event, which gathers over 10,000 people who come and listen to the huge range of ideas that all of the different authors bring to the community. Although all these authors offer different viewpoints, Beinart’s views were quickly rejected. Beinart’s book, “The Crisis of Zionisn,” which criticizes how the traditional views held by the Jewish community are too narrow to include the younger generations, received a lot of backlash.
According to the New York Times, the president of the center, Steven Cadranel, stated: “As leaders of our agency, we want the center to always serve as a safe place for honest debate, but we want to balance that against the concerns of our patrons…no matter what we decided here, the decision was going to have some repercussion either way.” Cadranel might have believed that he made the best decision for the agency, but instead, he set a precedent for censorship. His action to cancel Beinart’s event also generated a lot of anger from local Rabbis, who believed that his decision did not help the Jewish community.
As a leader it is important to promote a censorship-free environment, which is something that is important to the Jewish community. Cadranel must apologize to Beinart in order to appease the community.
Dear Steven Cadranel, President of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta,
It was unacceptable that you decided to censor author Peter Beinart from your festival after promising him a spot in it. I understand that you must have felt the strength of the opposition but censorship was not the right decision. By censoring Beinart because of his liberal views, you are sending a bad message to the community as a whole.
As a means to amend this decision, you should apologize to Beinart. In addition, you should issue an apology for the community and explain to them why it is important to have an open and uncensored community.
[Your Name Here]