The 92nd Street Y is a communal organization known for its pluralism and inclusiveness (“92Y Gala Sparks Debate On What’s Kosher,” May 19). Whether it is the gay and lesbian community, the interfaith community, single parents by choice or any other group, the 92nd Street Y offers programs and activities for everyone. It is sad, disappointing and unfortunate that the 92nd Street Y opted to use a non-kosher caterer for their annual gala.
It is more a matter of accommodation, inclusion and respect than kashrut. Any organization that opts to use a non-kosher caterer is making a decision that will have economic and public relations repercussions as it excludes an entire group of potential donors and members.
I recently attended a bar-mitzvah and unbeknownst to me, the family ordered a kosher meal for me. I knew that the event was not going to be kosher, but I wasn’t attending because of the food. And I was the only person at the bar mitzvah [who keeps kosher]. But a fund-raising gala for a major Jewish communal organization is different. You can offer a vegan option, a fish option and a kosher option. If you are attending the event to support the organization, you expect to have your meal served on fine china with real silverware just like everyone else — not a double foil-wrapped dinner with plastic forks and knives.
Imagine if all of the vegans and pescatarians at the gala had their meals served on paper plates. An organization like the 92nd Street Y should be serving the entire Jewish community. Perhaps the bad publicity and potential loss of future donations will cause the 92nd Street Y to re-examine this decision for their next gala.