Jewish Quarter Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl sent a letter to Shlomi Atias, CEO of the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, urging him to prevent the festival from taking place.
"We hereby protest the festival, which includes meals in non-kosher restaurants, and ask that this horrible thing be canceled immediately," the rabbi wrote.
If the festival won't be called off, Nebenzahl warned, he would turn to Lithuanian leader Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyahiv and ask him to order haredi representatives at the City Council to quit the coalition as an act of protest.
Gabi Sheinin, one of the Jewish Quarter's veteran residents, said the municipality must not be part of such an event.
"They are going to serve non-kosher food in the Old City and Jewish Quarter. It's a disgrace that the municipality is holding a festival and directing people to restaurants in Jerusalem which sell non-kosher food. A Jewish municipality must not be part of something which contradicts Judaism," he argued.
Atias said in response that his company was only hosting the event and had not initiated it. "I informed the municipality that in the Jewish Quarter the festival won't include mixed dances and will only serve kosher food. This was my condition as the host.
"Nonetheless, it is important to hold the event at the Jewish quarter as well – otherwise people will just go eat at the Muslim and Christian Quarters."
According to Atias, Jewish Quarter residents demanded that the event's organizers avoid placing signs directing visitors to restaurants in the Muslim and Christian Quarters.
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