We've received a lot of questions about our Shangri La Purim Ball. Here are some FAQs. Buy tickets here before they sell out! Through Feb. 15, ticket are two-for-one! Just buy a ticket and list the name of your +2 at check-out.
Q: Isn't this the hotel with that Muslim anti-Semitic owner who kicked Jews out of the pool?
The owner of Hotel Shangri La was found liable for 18 counts of discrimination against Jews in the summer of 2012. After the verdict, lawyer Steve Goldberg, National Vice Chair of the Zionist Organization of America, called for a community wide protest against the hotel, led by ZOA's local Executive Director at the time, Orit Arfa. Goldberg cancelled the protest in the wake of valuable concessions from the owner, including a public condemnation of anti-Semitism, donations to pro-Israel charities, and a pro-Israel party on their dime. True, a protest would have been cathartic, but the cancellation produced tangible benefits that actually helped Jews in need. When the ZOA office in Los Angeles closed in November 2012, Goldberg, who personally made the agreement with the hotel, decided to give Creative Zionist Coalition, headed by Orit Arfa, the right to hold the party.
Q: I heard the owner's appealing the verdict. Aren't you helping her?
She would have appealed the verdict no matter what. We can't make her withdraw her appeal no more than she could make us choose the theme of the party. Legally, the record is closed, and the appellate court only considers evidence presented at the trial. If the hotel tries to claim, "See, we don't hate Jews--we are even giving them a free party," the appellate court would not consider it. The law is black-and-white on this.
Q: But why collaborate with her?
We realize this is a cutting-edge, unorthodox decision-one that comes from Jewish strength, not weakness. It shows that if Jews stand up for their interests, people who caused them harm will make amends, perhaps voluntarily, perhaps under compulsion. Either way, that is an actual achievement.
This party will celebrate Purim, a holiday celebrating Jewish heroism in the face of anti-Semitism. Purim is about good overcoming evil, in which there are many reversals of fortune. A Muslim guilty of anti-Semitism is giving us a forum for honoring brave Zionists, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who are heroes in the fight against Islamic anti-Semitism. It is both beautiful and ironic.
Q: I really want to come, but why Oscar night?
Because we have our priorities straight. Why suffer through commercials to watch glamorous millionaires congratulate themselves on achievements that don't really affect you? Set your DVR and come to a party in celebration of YOUR life. But since we'll be in the award spirit-we're holding the first annual Keter Awards for Israel Advocacy at the party. Check it out and vote here! (Just for fun, we'll have an Oscar viewing party moment.)
Q: Can't wait to come. Where should I get a costume?
Buy one online, or go down Hollywood Boulevard near Wilcox where they have costume shops.
Q: Will it be safe? I'm afraid the owner will poison the Jews!
Is this the level of paranoia we've reached! The owner wants to save herself bad headlines, not create ones that read: "Muslim Owner of Hotel Poisons Jews." Overcome your baseless fear. All security precautions are being taken to ensure everyone is safe. If you're still afraid, try the kosher table.