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October 6, 2005

Bonnie H. Shapiro
Producer / Owner
King Richard's Faire

Dear Ms. Shapiro,

I must say that what you lack in hachnasat orchim, you make up for in chutzpah! How else to explain this invitation: “I'd love to have you come visit my faire for seven hours, but I won't feed you or allow you to eat your own food during your visit!” And then there's your claim that you gave my family “preferential treatment” by allowing us to eat our lunch in your parking lot, which would be funny if it weren't so sad.

You're right that most concert, show and movie theaters do not allow anyone to bring in outside food. However, there are two crucial differences between these venues and your faire. Their productions are short enough to attend without eating, and all of them sell packaged kosher food.

Despite your claim to the contrary, both Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium make exceptions to their no-outside-food policy for people with religious dietary restrictions. I doubt they would appreciate having their policies misrepresented by a competitor. I've taken the liberty of forwarding them a copy of your letter.

I noticed that your list of venues which supposedly share your policy doesn't include the Connecticut Renaissance Faire, which allows all patrons to bring in their own food. Furthermore, it's about as far from Boston as your faire; its ticket prices are 37-50% lower; it accepts credit cards; and it includes a host of free games and activities for kids. I just wish I'd known all this before my family spent over $150 at your faire for the privilege of eating in the parking lot! Rest assured, we won't make the same mistake again.

As for your claim that your “insurers and attorneys” require you to prohibit all outside food, maybe you ought to consider replacing them. Perhaps Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium or the Connectitut Renaissance Faire would be willing to refer you to theirs.

Jonathan Kamens

cc:The Jewish Advocate
Editorial Department
cc:Fenway Park
Fan Services Department
cc:Gillette Stadium
Security Department
cc:Connecticut Renaissance Faire
Public Relations Department