Tomorrow's Jewish Journal compiles the invitations extended to Mel Gibson by groups that apparently hope to be part of whatever mea culpa tour the actor-producer decides will cleanse the taint of anti-Semitism from his image. Rabbi David Baron of the Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills got there first, you might remember, and he is already claiming he was misquoted. But he would like Gibson to come before the congregation and make a public apology. The Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York has put forth a public invitation, as has the "1939 Club," a Los Angeles-based association of Holocaust survivors.
William Elperin, the group's president, said in a phone interview that he had invited Gibson "not to talk to us, but to listen to us. He has done enough talking."
"Who better to educate Gibson about the ultimate effects of anti-Semitism than those who experienced the Holocaust firsthand?"
Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center says Gibson won't be hearing from them: "As a member of the Academy, I voted for Gibson's 'Braveheart' as best picture, and when 'The Passion of the Christ' came under attack, I said there was no proof that Gibson was an anti-Semite," Hier said. "Now we have proof that he is an anti-Semite. He can't be cured by a press release or be koshered by a 24-hour 'conversion.'" Gibson's flack at Rogers and Cowan says he has not accepted any invitations.
Blogging from Israel: Jewish Journal religion editor Amy Klein and Matthew Altman, a literary agent at Creative Artists Agency, are posting on the JJ blog.