Two Palisades Groups Object to Being Listed as Chabad Center BBQ’s ‘Co-Sponsors’

By Sue Pascoe

On August 16, the Chabad Jewish Community Center sent the Palisades News an announcement about a barbecue that would be held at their facility on August 27 to Salute First Responders.

The Chabad asked if we would print the announcement and we responded positively. As a rule, we try to alert the community to as many events as possible and routinely include them in the paper.

The announcement, sent by Rabbi Zushe Cunin, stated in part: “The event is being hosted by Chabad and the Palisades Jewish Early Childhood Center, and co-sponsored by the American Legion, Rodeo Realty, Palisades Shell, Palisades Pride, Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness, the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce and Palisades Charter Schools Foundation.”

The event on Sunset at Los Leones was a success, but on Aug. 28, we received an email from Doug McCormick, president of the Task Force on Homelessness. He wrote: “Chabad lists the PPTFH as a co-sponsor of their event. That is false. Please write a clarification in the next issue.”

PRIDE President Bruce Schwartz, a member of the Task Force, also wrote to us, stating that “PRIDE was NOT a sponsor of the event. Chabad requested a donation from both organizations. Both rejected Chabad’s request. Neither I, nor anyone else gave permission to Chabad to say PPTFH or PRIDE co-sponsored the event.”

PPTFH Vice President Sharon Browning wrote to the News: “It would help to have this issue clarified and corrected. I had two active supporters contact me over the weekend and ask if their contribution had been ‘diverted’ to the Chabad event. I assured them that the board knew nothing about the event and that all donations are meticulously dedicated to the PPTFH project and mission. This incorrect information can really hurt our mission and I’m hopeful that it can be corrected.”

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Arnie Wishnick said his group did not donate money to the event, nor did the Palisades Charter Schools Foundation. The American Legion and Rodeo donated.

Rabbi Cunin clarified in a phone call on Sept. 3. “We had a financial sponsor to take care of the event,” he said, noting that even if the groups did not want to contribute financially, “We were just trying to include anyone that wanted to support our firefighters and police.”

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