The Jewish National Fund sent out a mass e-mail this month announcing that it would be auctioning off a one-year subscription to Playboy and an all-expenses-paid trip to a VIP party at the legendary mansion of the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner, in Holmby Hills, Calif.
Deborah Meyer, the executive director of Moving Tradition, an organization that helps young women become bat mitzvah, questioned the JNF’s decision to embrace Playboy.
“It seems like a bit of a lapse of judgment to offer as a prize a trip to the Playboy mansion,” she said. “You have to wonder what they are thinking about who are the members of the Jewish community and what message they think they are sending not just to young women, but to men, about Jewish values and what is appropriate in the year 5767.”
JNF officials dismissed such criticism, noting that other charities have offered similar prizes in recent years.
“If people don’t want to bid on it, they won’t,” said Anita Jacobs, the director of the JNF’s Greater New York branch, which is organizing the auction. “This is America.”
Asked if she thought Playboy objectifies women, Jacobs replied: “No, not at all.”
Contact info for the folks at JNF:
Anita Jacobs, Director of JNF Greater New York
212-879-9300 (not direct line)
Heidi Damsky, board member with the marketing portfolio
(no email given, but maybe firstname.lastname@example.org based on the others?)