To the Editor:
We think it is important to identify the woman who triggered the mob behavior at the MV Hebrew Center Summer Institute at the Toobin lecture, because it casts the entire response from the crowd in a different light. In your article and Doreen Kinsman’s Letter to the Editor (July 12 issue) the woman “who appeared at the door shouting and beckoning to her friends…as she obviously had secured seats for them” actually was Joleen King, the program administrator of the Summer Insitute, a very recognizable person to most donors. She waved her arms and yelled out, “Donors come!”
The entire incident was Ms. King’s responsibility in not planning appropriately in advance for a second line for donors from those purchasing tickets and then not going along the line in an orderly way and asking donors to form a second line. Those who saw and heard her the clearest were those in the last half of the line who followed her directions.
We had come early enough to be near the door already. Caught in the crush, one of us questioned her behavior as we passed her, to which she responded, “These are my donors” and further, “I know my donors” — totally oblivious to the chaos she had caused.
Not only did this mayhem show her lack of leadership ability, but her not taking responsibility for her actions made it worse, leaving the crowd responding to her directive to be blamed for abandoning their civility.
Nowhere in the Hebrew Center’s Letter to the Editor is Ms. King’s behavior acknowledged, leading to many sterotypical responses about the crowd in your website reader’s response such as “a group of uber-liberal, one-percenters” and maybe thinly veiled stereotypes about Jewish people.
The biggest fear of most production managers is that someone in the audience will yell “Fire!” In this case Ms. King yelled the equivalent of “Fire” herself and did not admit it.
Herbert P. and Carol M. Golub