Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Carnegie Hall Celebration of Israel’s 40th Canceled

April 21, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A major show in celebration of Israel’s 40th anniversary has been canceled because of scheduling and financial difficulties, as well as poor performance at the box office.

“The Dream of Generations,” a star-studded musical and oratory salute to Israel, scheduled for Wednesday at New York’s Carnegie Hall, was canceled in the last hours after it became clear to the organizers of the show that they did not have enough time “to put the show together,” according to Debbie Klein of Howard Rubenstein Associates, a public relations firm that handled publicity for the show.

The local committee planning Israel’s 40th anniversary celebrations, which organized the show, preferred to say that it had been postponed. But they said no alternative plans have been made at this time.

Earlier this year, another major cultural event in celebration of Israel’s 40th anniversary was canceled. An elaborate production of the Verdi opera “Nabucco” had been scheduled to take place in Jerusalem, but later was canceled when organizers cited labor problems. But there appeared to be little connection between that decision and the one taken by organizers of the New York event.

The Carnegie Hall show was to feature classical, pop and country music with dance, comedy and readings from such luminaries as writer Leon Uris and Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a sexologist.

Among the would-be performers were pianist Vladimir Feltsman, country singer Mickey Gilley and Israeli singer Nurity Galron.

Tickets for the show ranged from $15 to $100. Benefit tickets were $250, $500 and $1,000, including a post performance dinner party at the trendy Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park.

According to Lester Pollock, chairman of the anniversary committee and president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, which organized the committee, the show was scrapped because “we had some scheduling difficulties.”


He noted that the show was one of some 350 events during this year’s celebration and said that it was decided to postpone the show until the fall.

Pollock maintained that the show did not have any financial difficulties and money was not the reason for postponing the show.

But according to Moshe Yegar, Israel’s consul general in New York, the show became “too expensive” and it was necessary to postpone it to a later date, “probably around the Labor Day weekend in September.” Yegar is an observer at the meetings of the anniversary committee.

According to Erela Hadar, Israel’s consul for cultural affairs here, the show had to be canceled because of financial considerations.

Pollock, Yegar, Klein and Hadar all said that there were not any political reasons for canceling the Carnegie Hall extravaganza.

According to one source that requested anonymity, the sale of the tickets for the show was low. “People were not lining up to buy these expensive tickets,” the source claimed.

Recommended from JTA