For Hester Street Collaborative, Uproar Over Linda Sarsour Honor

Posted on: May 8th, 2018 at 5:04 am by

The Hester Street Collaborative just announced its annual benefit gala. As part of the fundraiser fete next month, they’re honoring, among others, controversial Palestinian-American activist, Linda Sarsour.

The local nonprofit group – dedicated to urban planning, design, and development “to ensure neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them” – is apparently making waves with the decision to include the Brooklyn-born Sarsour. After all, it’s well documented that she and Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory are known Israel bashers with alleged ties to one of America’s most virulant antisemites, Nation of Islam firebrand Louis Farrakhan. (The Atlantic went into depth on this relationship in its piece about how the Women’s March has a “Farrakhan problem.”)

This isn’t the first time that Sarsour has caused controversy here on the Lower East Side. Another social organization with Jewish roots – the Henry Street Settlement – included her on a panel at Abrons Arts Center around this time last year for a discussion about “immigrant New York.” The rabbi of the nearby Bialystoker Synagogue on Willett Street made it known that this was unacceptable; the event nonetheless went on.

We sent two emails to Hester Street asking about whether honoring Sarsour at this event was insensitive given her notoriety, but did not receive any response before publication.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is also participating on the “host committee” and still maintains her backing, despite the controversy. “I’m pleased to support the Hester Street Collaborative, a neighborhood planning nonprofit that does important work in our city,” her spokesperson told us in an email.

It’s worth noting that other local politicians have backed out from the host committee, including Councilwoman Margaret Chin. However, Nydia Velazquez and State Senator Brian Kavanaugh remain participants for the time being.

Meanwhile, an organization called Women’s March for All is stirring up a storm on Twitter, calling the fundraiser event a “normalization” of antisemitism. Their overall mission statement is to increase pressure on the leaders of the March to resign “in order to bring the movement back to a place of respectibility and viability.”

According to a recent report in Newsweek, the Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish NGO, found a 57-percent increase in antisemetic-related incidents in America last year.

Recent Stories

Bowery Boogie Uncapped Presents the Golden Gauntlet Graffiti Battle

Hold on to your hats, kids. It’s all out war on the Bowery! Have you ever wanted to see two graffiti writers battle live? Sure you do! I mean, many of us don’t know what we want until we hear about on the interweb, so you’re welcome. Tomorrow night, PACE SSB and REE MTA will […]

Six-Story Row House Replacement Tops out on Grand Street

At the corner of Essex and Grand Streets, two hundred years of history are officially erased. This six-story building – luxury condos – is the future. The drama here is more than four years in the making. After purchasing 355 Grand Street for $4 million in December 2014, Interboro Properties spent the next two years […]

Rep. Maloney’s ‘RECIPE’ Act Missing Ingredient for Real Revitalization

Last week, U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY12 District) held a press conference to reintroduce the RECIPE Act (Revitalizing Cities through Parks Enhancement) –  a clever acronym for a bill that proposes $10 million in funding for community gardens and parks through HUD, not just in New York City, but nationwide. La Plaza Cultural Center de […]

Whole Foods Hogs Sidewalk with Amazon Prime Now Delivery Bike Fleet

The Whole Foods on the Bowery thinks it owns the sidewalk. Just look to the entrance, where a gaggle of delivery bikes, with long flatbeds hitched, are parked awaiting parcels. It even wraps around onto the Bowery. This is the fleet of vehicles whose sole purpose is fulfilling Amazon’s Prime Now delivery service. The sidewalk […]

Someone is Growing Corn Stalks on Delancey Street

Talk about farm to table… A guerrilla farmer is growing corn on Delancey Street, but you wouldn’t necessarily notice on first passing. The decrepit flower box outside the Allen Mall Bathhouse on Delancey Street is chock full of plantings. And the growing glut of crap behind it keeps you away. Gaze there, though, and you’ll […]