Fresh off the exciting Super Bowl win of one of its tenants, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, can expect increased revenue next year. However, in this challenging economy, no opportunity to develop a new source of revenue should be overlooked. The stadium found just the source it was looking for: Orthodox Jews.
Our community has unique cultural and religious requirements, so MetLife Stadium worked hand-in-hand with Agudath Israel of America to accommodate religious fans. A major breakthrough has been announced: MetLife Stadium will build a mechitzah across the entire stadium to accommodate separate seating for men and women. The mechitzah will run through all seating levels. The result: over 20,000 seats available for a women’s section.
This will mark the first time in United States history that a mechitzah of this magnitude will be built. Negotiations to build this mechitzah could not have been easy. Flimsy movable partitions are not an option when public safety is involved. This will be a solidly installed mechitzah which will be supported by beams that are drilled into the stadium’s new concrete walls. The mechitzah construction carries a price tag of no less than a quarter of a million dollars.
Will women now be able to perform “the wave” at sports events with complete privacy? Unfortunately, current plans call for the mechitzah to be dismantled after the Siyum HaShas in August. Currently, the plans are to return the stadium to the same condition it was in before the mechitzah was installed. (But maybe MetLife Stadium will alter its plans after witnessing the tremendous kiddush Hashem.) Repairing the holes in the concrete is one reason why the mechitzah carries such a high price tag.
One can debate whether a mechitzah is actually necessary at this event. Yet, to encourage all segments of the Orthodox population to attend, there is no question that having a mechitzah is important.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Spending What on What?!?!
Hat Tip: Haemtza
I thought this was Purim Torah and I was enjoying a chuckle until I realized the article was dead serious. The Agudah is spending a quarter of a mil on a stadium mechitza to be used for a single night. Read on [emphasis mine]:
If I wasn't convinced before, I am now that "we" have lost our minds. And the irony can't be missed re: the dedication. “This siyum, like others before it, will honor the memory of the six million kedoshim who perished in the fires of Churban Europe. It will be a powerful testament to the eternity of Torah and the idea that it alone can preserve our past and ensure our future.”
I'd suggest organizations stop flushing money down the toilet or there won't be any kemach to preserve Torah. This is the definition of spending like a drunken solider.
(Oh, as per the Agudah's psak your ticket, priced from $18 to $1000 is tax deductible: "Regarding a tax deduction for attending the siyum, the tax experts at Agudath Israel have advised the community that purchasing seats to attend a religious siyum ceremony is no different than purchasing a High Holy Day seat in a synagogue. You may take the ticket price as a tax deduction, but not the food purchased at concession stands." I won't comment, but consult your own tax advisor.)