The Orange County Performing Arts Center's one-year anniversary party is billed on invitations as "the social event of our Season" but it has turned into a social embarrassment to the center because the bash is scheduled for Oct. 3--the night that Jewish arts patrons will be concluding Yom Kippur, their most solemn religious holiday.
Offended members of the Jewish community are calling the decision "insensitive" and "callous," and said it could affect the amount of money they will give to the facility in the future. As a result, the Center has sent an official letter of apology to key Jewish supporters and community leaders, including a promise that the situation will never be repeated. However, this year's event will not be rescheduled.
Center officials say they settled on the night of Oct. 3--when Jewish families will break a 24-hour fast with a festive dinner--to resolve certain scheduling conflicts. Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement.
"We view this as a scheduling problem," said Marylyn Pauley, the Center's vice chairman for community relations.