Financial woes cancel Wiesenthal dinner

April 20, 2009 at 12:22 PM
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NEW YORK, April 20 (UPI) -- The annual gala dinner in New York orchestrated by the Simon Wiesenthal Center has been canceled amid the center's financial woes, a spokeswoman said.

Spokeswoman Rhonda Barad said the cancellation of this year's Wiesenthal dinner comes as the center is struggling to remain afloat despite the elimination of five positions this year, the New York Post said Monday.

"I didn't think it was responsible to spend a couple of hundred thousand for an event," Barad said regarding the cancellation.

Potential center donors were informed of the cancellation through letters April 1, but were not offered details behind the gala decision. Despite the canceled event, those individuals were asked to donate to help the center, the Post said.

Barad said the center, named for Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, may have to end its ongoing effort to fight intolerance and hate if its financial situation does not improve.

"If we can't support it, the center will have to close," she told the Post.

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