FAITH

Jewish leaders praise Entrata for building bridges after company founder sends anti-Semitic email

Jan 11, 2022, 7:27 PM | Updated: Jan 12, 2022, 10:50 am
(Congregation Kol Ami, which received a six-figure donation from Entrata.  Photo: Paul Nelson, Janu...
(Congregation Kol Ami, which received a six-figure donation from Entrata. Photo: Paul Nelson, January 11, 2022)
(Congregation Kol Ami, which received a six-figure donation from Entrata. Photo: Paul Nelson, January 11, 2022)

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of Utah’s Jewish community are praising the tech company Entrata, saying the company is trying to fix the damage done by its founder who spread anti-Semitic rumors about COVID-19 and the vaccine.

Entrata founder David Bateman made national headlines last week after he reportedly sent an anti-Semitic email to CEOs at other tech companies telling people to avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine and calling it a Jewish attempt to “euthanize” Americans.

“I believe the pandemic and systematic extermination of billions of people will lead to an effort to consolidate all the countries in the world under a single flag with totalitarian rule,” he wrote. “I know, it sounds bonkers.”

Rabbi Samuel Spector with Congregation Kol Ami says he was surprised to get a phone call from top officials of Entrata on Friday morning.  Company management asked to speak with him, in person, to apologize for Bateman’s comments.  He says he told Entrata officials that an apology wasn’t necessary since Bateman’s comments did not represent the views of the tech company or its workers.

Entrata lending a helping hand

He says Entrata insisted.

“They said, ‘We still want to meet with you, and we want to help your community.  Would you come down here and meet with our team?’” Spector says.

During this meeting, Entrata offered a six-figure donation to Congregation Kol Ami.  Spector says these funds couldn’t come at a better time, since their building is in dire need of upgrades

“Our building is 50 years old and pretty much everything in it.  The boiler, the chiller, the bathrooms and the prayer books are all 50 years old, too,” Spector says.  “Prior to this gift, we were wondering, ‘How are we going to do this?  How will our building stay standing in 10 years?’”

Raising money

Spector says officials at Entrata are doing everything it can to remove antisemitism from the company.

“They are having me do a presentation to their 2,500 employees, including those in India, this Thursday on the history of antisemitism and how to identify antisemitism,” he said.

Spector doesn’t want to divulge exactly how much Entrata donated. He added that the tech company had no intention of making the donation public knowledge.  However, Spector says his congregants wanted to give credit to the company and its workers, since employees are still receiving backlash from Bateman’s comments.

Spector said, “It’s very easy for people to get attention for doing the wrong thing, like David Bateman. They deserve attention for doing the right thing.”

Bateman stepped down as a board member the day the email was made public and agreed to divest all his holdings in Entrata.

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Jewish leaders praise Entrata for building bridges after company founder sends anti-Semitic email