“I’m frustrated by the lack of dates offered and that it fell on a Jewish holiday,” said Rafshoon, who is Jewish. Rafshoon said he is not sure he will attend.
“I really need to be with my family,” he said.
“The choices were Sept. 28 or 29 — and Sept. 29 is the opening day of Out on Film,” Rafshoon added. “When booking events, especially this time of year, it is hard to find dates. I’m just frustrated there were such a limited number of days to choose from, but we all agreed it was better not to push the date back any longer.”
Sept. 28 is also the day of the pre-event for Out on Film that includes the screening of the documentary, “In the Eye of the AIDS Storm,” about longtime local HIV/AIDS activist Jesse Peel. The screening takes place at the Rush Center at 7:30 p.m.
Glen Paul Freedman, chair of the LGBT advisory board, is also Jewish. Freedman said that because of the mayor’s busy schedule this was the earliest date available that fit in with most everyone’s schedule.
“We offered a lot of dates and were trying to juggle dates between board members and the mayor’s schedule and community events. There are a lot of things going on at this time of year,” Freedman said
“Our question was do we want to wait until October? But with so much going on with Atlanta Pride and the AIDS Walk, we felt it was really important to have the town hall as soon as possible,” Freedman said.
“Personally, I like it being close to Pride to bring the community together to have an open discussion as we go into the beginning of the festival,” he added. “This date selected was in no way meant to hurt anyone’s feelings or insult anyone’s religious belief.”
Freedman said the town hall forum will include presentations by the mayor and police chief as well as a Q&A format for participants to ask questions of the officials about public safety as well as the Eagle raid.
“This is a great opportunity for all of us to be in the same room together. We ask that everyone be respectful,” he said.
Reed and Turner agreed to the town hall after each met individually in closed sessions with the LGBT advisory board.
Atlanta Pride, set for Oct. 8-9, is being held on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the holiest of days for Jewish people.