Rabbi Alfred Cohen, editor of the Journal of Halakha and Contemporary Society, and the Chabad Center in Wayne, New Jersey are both caught illegally screening the movie Ushpizin without paying its distributor or filmmaker or receiving permission. Rabbi Cohen claims to have sought permission before the screening. Chabad does not. Both settled out of of court:
The Chabad Center, in Wayne, N.J., thought the film would make a perfect draw for its Dec. 10 Melava Malka, a dinner celebrating the Sabbath. "You are cordially invited Saturday night to Café Chabad for a private screening of the acclaimed 'Ushpizin' and a Middle Eastern buffet dinner," the invitation read. The admission fee wasn't for the movie but covered the cost of the meal, said Michael, the director of the center, who declined to give his last name.
"What's the difference between showing the movie to 25 people in my home or showing it at the synagogue?" he asked. Advised that DVDs contain a strict prohibition against publicly exhibiting the product, he said he hadn't read the fine print.
On Tuesday, Chabad arrived at a settlement. The event will go ahead as planned, but Picturehouse will get a percentage of each ticket sold — as in theaters.
"I'm not interested in a fight with anybody," Michael said. "I'm the chaplain of the Passaci County prison. You think I want people to visit me there? I'm happy. They're happy. Everything is fine."