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Harvest Festival's Seeds of Discontent

April 13, 1986

The Orange County office of the Anti-Defamation League seemed a bit extravagant in attributing a "callus and uncompromising attitude . . . against the Jewish community" to the Irvine Harvest Festival's scheduling its annual event during Jewish High Holidays. It suggests a kind of paranoia unbecoming a religious community in an enlightened time and place like this era in this place.

I am not a resident of Irvine. If the public calendar there were to regard all the possible coincidences of public events with the observances of the various religious communities, time would stand still. Better, let the religious communities respect each other and the common purposes of the whole community, and leave off the special pleading for special consideration.

Surely, we can count on public agencies to try their very best to select times and places which will guarantee the highest financial and communal returns. This means they are likely to avoid times when the faithful of any religion might be unable to participate. It is as unreasonable for us to impugn their motives by assuming that they are "out to get us" as it would be for them to try "to get us."

I wish the Harvest Festival great success and the Irvine Jewish community blessed and happy holidays.

J. RALPH DEPPEN

Mission Viejo

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