Rubenstein helps Rogers shake anti-Semite image

New York: Richard Rogers has had his status reconfirmed as architect for the expansion of New York City's Javits Center.

New York: Richard Rogers has had his status reconfirmed as architect for the expansion of New York City's Javits Center.

His job was in jeopardy last month after various groups, accusing him of being an anti-Semite, demanded he quit.

Rubenstein Associates has been working with the British architect to improve relations with the city's Jewish and political communities since then.

The controversy began when UK newspaper The Independent reported that Rogers, who designed the $1.7 billion Jacob K. Javits Center renovation, hosted a meeting of a group that reportedly advocates boycotting Israel. Rogers denied supporting such a boycott.

City politicians and Jewish organizations soon demanded that Rogers be thrown off the Javits Center job.

Howard Rubenstein said Rogers called him personally in early March to help him regain standing in the community.

"He was really worried about his reputation," he told PRWeek.

Rubenstein arranged an exclusive interview for Rogers with the New York Post, which he described as an important media outlet because of its large readership in the Jewish community.

In addition to mainstream media, Rubenstein also reached out to national Jewish outlets, such as The Jewish Week and Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

"It was a blitz to try to tell his story," he noted. "I figured if he couldn't tell his story and have it believed, he was finished in New York."

Besides putting Rogers in touch with various leaders by phone, he helped facilitate a meeting with Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), state assemblyman Sheldon Silver, and numerous leaders from Jewish organizations, such as the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

After the meeting, the group determined it would withdraw its objections, but Rubenstein said he is still fielding calls from media and will work with Rogers for the next three months.

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