(JTA) — A California synagogue asked movie star Mel Gibson for a donation, suggesting it would remedy his reputation regarding Jews.
The president of Congregation Beth Shalom in Corona sent the filmmaker and actor a letter asking for help to prevent the synagogue from losing its building, the Hollywood gossip site TMZ reported last Friday.
"Our proposal to you, Mr. Gibson, is since you have been cited as an Anti-Semitic, and have denied those allegations, what better way to prove to all your fans and the nay Sayers — than to endorse and help raise funds for our cause — SOS, Save Our Synagogue," the letter from the synagogue’s president said.
The letter said that the synagogue was grappling with a $1.6 million loan that it had taken out to construct its building and the effects of the economic downturn on its members.
It concluded: "Mr. Gibson, we offer you to be a Mensch and make a sizable contribution to our cause."
A representative for Gibson told TMZ that he was not aware of the request.
A representative of the Southern California Conservative synagogue told TMZ that "We weren’t trying to shame Mel Gibson into giving us money. We are approaching many celebrities and people of the community as well. We thought because of his situation he would be very much interested in supporting our cause."