It's not as if Fitzpatrick has declined to go head to head with Boockvar in their battle for the Eighth District seat, which encompasses Bucks County and a portion of Montgomery County.
Fitzpatrick has agreed to three debates, one on radio, one at Bucks County Community College, and one in Doylestown sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
Faith Bender, his campaign manager, did not respond to requests to call an Inquirer reporter Wednesday. But she e-mailed a statement saying "Congressman Fitzpatrick is the only congressional candidate in Pennsylvania to participate in three debates."
The only requirements for the three he will attend are that they be "fair, unbiased, and orderly," she said.
Bender indicated that as far as other events go, the restrictions requested by Fitzpatrick were not new.
"We have approached a handful of potential candidate-forum hosts to use the same conditions, to our knowledge, that were used in the past," she said. "For whatever reason, Boockvar's campaign seems to believe they should get a special set of rules and wants to make an issue of it."
Fitzpatrick, in an interview with the Bucks County Courier Times, said that barring the press and recordings seemed like a good idea particularly for the synagogue event, at which "sensitive" issues pertaining to Israel and Iran were likely to come up.
"Members of the synagogue may want to speak privately about them," he said.
But in talking to the Courier Times, he appeared to back off on barring all news media. "I'll drive you there myself," he told a reporter for the newspaper.
Mark Podob, president of the synagogue men's club, told The Inquirer on Wednesday that the club was "certainly OK" with the restrictions imposed by Fitzpatrick. "We are just grateful to have the congressman come to the synagogue."
But he disagreed that Israel issues should be discussed in secret.
"The guy is a congressman, and I think everything he talks about should be available to the general public," he said. "So I don't necessarily share his opinion."
The event at the Northampton synagogue is open to the public and will run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Dennis O'Leary, leader of the seniors group, said its event will be from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. at the Heritage Creek 55-and-older community in Warwick Township.
"We weren't too pleased with being dictated to on who could be there," he said. "But rather than not have [the event], we agreed to his terms."
Contact Tom Infield at 610-313-8205 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @tinfield.