Friday, March 25, 2011

Concert Controversy - UPDATED

Yesterday, a promo video for an upcoming concert to benefit Tzivos Hashem was posted online. The event featured Avraham Fried, Lipa Schmeltzer, a boys choir, and a segment called Jewish Kids Got Talent.

Apparently, some in the community found either the notion or the actual footage of the black choreographer and hip-hop dancers to be unacceptable, and controversy erupted.

A little while ago, The Cool Jew interviewed the event producer, who defended the decision to include those performers, and said the show would continue as planned. A short while later, the Lubavitch youth organization "Tzivos Hashem" contacted to state "this issue has been corrected. These performers will no longer be part of the show and will not have anything further to do with it."

I've done some checking around, and have been unable to find anyone else commenting on this aside from the Cool Jew's posts. There doesn't appear to be any controversy over this on any of the popular Chabad/Lubavitch websites. It looks to me like a one man crusade by the Cool Jew against the black choreographers. That changes the story materially, so I though y'all should know. CJ did write another post today, "Rabbi Heller Blasts Tzivos Hashem Concert" about the topic, but without audio, I'd read that as this rabbi is opposed to concerts in general, not specifically addressing this one and the question of non-Jewish dancers etc. In other words, the only person who seems to have had a problem here is the blogger himself. That's a very different story. It speaks to his racism alone. That's a relief to hear.

PS, as that post quoted Lipa, the dancers did appear at today's show.


The Cool Jew posted a rant, Shame on You Tzivos Hashem, today. I'm counting this as confirmation of my previous update. He's trying to gin up opposition, but, contrary to his reporting, this does not appear to have been generated controversy beforehand.