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Outrage Over “Party” on Purim Eve

A “party” hosted on Purim eve was reminiscent of the party that was hosted by King Achashverosh, replete with mingling, food, live music and even a belly dancer, has drawn widespread shock and outrage – even forcing a Kashrus agency to rethink their policies for parties at venues they certify, and the venue to distance itself from the event.

by CrownHeights.info

Dubbed “Arabian Nights – Purim at the Persian Palace” the event, which took place on Purim Eve, the 28th of February, promised live entertainment, Arabian food, a hookah lounge and even a belly dancer in ‘Persian’ attire.

The event was organized by a number of Crown Heights and Chabad based establishments, clothing designers, hair stylists and social media personalities and was heavily promoted ahead of the event and was set to take place in Downtown Brooklyn at Bison and Bourbon, a popular restaurant and event venue.

And the party delivered all it promised, drawing vocal outrage and disgust.

Pictures on social media showed bearded men watching a scantly clad dancers, and videos showed unabashed mingling and mixed dancing, with no proper mechizta in sight. “It’s so ironic,” noted a social media commenter, “to hold such an event on Purim when the Jews were endangered for attending Achashverosh’s party. The food back then was also glatt kosher…”

An attendee, who declined to be quoted by name, said that friends invited her to a Purim celebration with good food. “When I arrived I couldn’t believe my eyes. The scene was completely lewd. I just got up and left” she said.

Photos and videos seen posted on various social media platforms by CrownHeights.info staff the night of the event have been meticulously sanitized and deleted. One angry community member alleged that “foreseeing the outrage from the Chabad community organizers instructed that attendees share photos on Instagram Story only.”

Instagram story is a social media post which gets automatically deleted after a set amount of time.

Curiously, nearly all promotion posts on social media have been removed by the party’s hosts and organizers.

In a statement the OK Kosher said:
“When we certify food service establishments we outline specific guidelines that must be followed, not only for the food but for a kosher atmosphere as well. Much to our dismay, we learned that our guidelines were not followed at this event. Going forward, we will review our policies and guidelines and make necessary adjustments to ensure that we can enforce our standards.”

Bison and Bourbon also released a statement vehemently distancing themselves from what took place. “It is very important, and we want to make it clear that we never would have done anything to bring shame like this to our business, community or to the OK,” they said in a statement. “In addition to this as soon as our staff saw this happen they stopped it from continuing. It is also important to know that we had no control of the advertising of this event and that none of the management of Bison & Bourbon took part of any decision that were made for this event.”

bison bourbon purim party letter

Some of the remaining posts on social media:

PURIM AT THE PALACE It’s 6 nights away from the Purim party that you don’t want to miss I will be Co- Hosting at the palace with some of instagrams chicest boss ladies @the_chefs_wife_ @mimulo @eishesstyle @excessoriesexpert @thefrocknyc @salonleah 🔥🔥🍷🍷🤡🤡🧕🏻🧕🏻👳🏻‍♂️👳🏻‍♂️ Decked out for Arabian royalty this party will transport you from the concrete jungle of NYC to the palaces of Arabia! Get ready for the middle eastern party of the year! DJ ROY BARON HOOKA LOUNGE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT HENNA TATOO ARTIST ARABIAN FOOD by chef Jose Soto 21+ VIP AVAILABLE Use My Promo Code to be eligible for my VIP discount PURIMWITHRACHELOSTROY I will also be announcing My Purim GIVEAWAY at the PALACE !!!!!!!!!!!

A post shared by Rachel.Ostroy (@rachel.ostroy) on

92 Comments

  • 1. Not understanding wrote:

    I don’t understand why all of a sudden people are up in arms these parties have been happening for the last couple of year and no one condemned them why now ?

    Reply
  • 2. Rabbis wear sunglasses wrote:

    It’s no surprise
    Everyday there are plenty of “crown heights girls” walking with high skirts
    And married women with no rings on
    It isn’t a new concern
    There’s Halacha and there’s Halacha
    If I want to live in an environment where almost everyone is ultra orthodox per Halacha I wouldn’t choose crown heights
    Period

    Reply
  • 4. Broken GPS wrote:

    This is so outlandish that it’s comical. Have we lost all sense of morality? Of decency?

    This is a direct result of delving in the pleasures of food, and blatant discussions of food, and the naming of our establishments after klipos etc.

    My my have we lost our way.

    Reply
  • 9. Completely Inappropriate wrote:

    I am very “modern Chabad”, and even I was shocked at the atmosphere featured at that Purim party. What was ironic about it, is that this party literally brought to life Achashveroshes party… taking place in “Persia”, with inappropriate belly dancers, mixed dancing, alcohol in excess, married couples getting very cozy on low couches while sharing hooka, dim romantic lighting, with ladies dressed extra provocatively.. I mean, this was essentially a club, with kosher food, and frum attendees. It signified the very opposite of what we should have learned from the story of Purim.

    Reply
  • 10. Anonymous wrote:

    The owners new nice and well what was gonna go down they where inviting people please they act so innocent

    Reply
    • 11. Spell Check wrote:

      it’s spelled “were” not “where”. Also, learn punctuation.

  • 12. I blame the snags wrote:

    The snag-agenda has turned our beloved children against yiddishkeit. Just look around you. Fake eruvs. Hedonistic “Purim” parties. Wasabi herring. Have they no shame?

    Reply
    • 13. Chabad-lite wrote:

      The eruv is real! Just because you cease to believe it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. I cease to believe that you have a brain because it is not in plain sight.. does it mean that you do not have one?

  • 14. The kangeroo wrote:

    Vow it looks like a great party! I guess i do not subscribe to the right social media.Seriously, chabad has to establish a board of Rabbis.that would set standards etc.

    Reply
  • 15. defining crown heights wrote:

    yes yes yes crown heights SHOULD BE THE DEFINITION OF E V E R Y O N E BEING ULTRA ORTHODOX A L P I H A L A C H A. it hurts that you live here because you think its acceptable to compromise integrity. it feels like you are comfortable in your complacency and do not even feel a desire to raise your standards.

    Reply
    • 17. R'DJL & KW wrote:

      clearly the letter is factually inaccurate… and if the OK didn’t as of yet take the Certification off it’s clear they instructed B &B what to write… to “justify ” keeping it on…

  • 18. Andrea Schonberger wrote:

    This sounds weird so before jumping to conclusions I wonder if this is a belated Purim joke.

    Reply
  • 20. Truly flabbergasted wrote:

    Thank you Crown Heights Info for reporting on this. I am thoroughly disgusted by what I’ve read but it’s important for the community to know what’s going on. I see someone blamed the Snags for this and frankly I think that’s only part of the problem. The other day, I was having a snack at one of those new hippie/hipster restaurants when a woman walked in pushing a stroller dressed like she was going to Studio 54 in Manhattan! I mean the whole deal–tight blouse, tight skirt, high boots. My dear son tells me that there’s a word for women like this: h-t Chani. Let me tell you something I said, there is nothing so-called “hot” about such an immodestly dressed woman. Truly flabbergasted.

    Reply
  • 21. Enactment wrote:

    about time someone reenact the Megilah story as Achashveiroche’s Ministers hoped to see.

    so Achashvairoch Sitting with his ministers drinking and partying they get tipsy and talk about …. women each brags about his lady and Achashvairoch pledged to show His Queen so his ministers dare him to show his lady pure as a New Born ………..

    Reply
  • 22. Fake news wrote:

    I find it interesting that both COL and CH.INFO both have the same article supposedly written by their reporter. Who is protecting their behind the OK or Bison?

    Reply
    • 23. what?! wrote:

      one site took the liberty of public shaming and this one was careful in highlighting a travesty without violating more halachos… how do you compare the two?

  • 24. Coincidence? wrote:

    Is anyone surprised that 2 days after this event we had the worst snowstorm of the YEAR which totally surprised even the weather experts??

    Reply
  • 27. Rabbis wear sunglasses wrote:

    It’s no surprise
    Everyday there are plenty of “crown heights girls” walking with high skirts
    And married women with no rings on
    It isn’t a new concern
    There’s Halacha and there’s Halacha
    If I want to live in an environment where almost everyone is ultra orthodox per Halacha I wouldn’t choose crown heights
    Period

    Reply
  • 28. a tale of two wrote:

    When Basil did construction work on Shabbos they immediately lost their hechsher, here we see a shameful purim party hosted and what? nothing?

    Reply
    • 29. Milhouse wrote:

      Basil lost its hechsher because there was an unsupervised goy on the premises with full access to the kitchen, and the restaurant refused to remain closed until the OK could review the surveillance tape to make sure he didn’t do anything. How could it guarantee that the kitchen was still kosher? Nothing like that happened at Bison & Bourbon, so there’s no reason to doubt the continuing kashrus of the kitchen.

  • 30. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you Crown Heights.Info for your fair and non loshen horah filled article on this event. I find it extremely shocking and shameful that the article on another well know Chabad site shamelessly named the names of the organizers involved – absolutely shameful of them and I hope they will alter their article.

    Reply
  • 32. Why dont rabbaim say something! wrote:

    Why dont the rabbaim say something! Do we not have anyone to stand up for the rebbe’s shchuna! What has happened to everything the rebbe stands for! So ironic they imitated the party of achasverus on purim. So sick that i read this has been happening before this too. Definately the terrible sudden storm 2 days later sounds like a warning. I remember the way crown hts community was with the rebbe’s fabrengens and i shudder

    Reply
    • 33. Chabad-lite wrote:

      What rabbonim?? the ones who are constantly fighting? Time to pass the torch to the younger generation.

  • 35. Anonymous wrote:

    this is loshen horah legamri this is doing what the yiden did in ninvey just because a few people did something wrong dosnt mean it has to be blasted so now what the entire lubavitch knows , dont you know taht loshen horah kills 3.

    Reply
    • 36. Yankel wrote:

      1. When done this public, it does not fall in the categoty of loshon hora.
      2. If no one calls this out, it will normalize immorality in the community C”V.
      3. Imagine the Rebbe’s reaction. And the Rebbe has brought up issues at farbrengens that were far less contentious.
      4. If you truly have Ahavas yisroel, you would also jump to help these actions. Notice that CH.info didnt post names. So its not about the people rather an outcry for this behavior.
      5. And yes, it behooves us as chassidim to stand up to such behavior.

  • 39. Thinking Chosid wrote:

    Real question: What was the mashgiach doing during the belly dance show? If he was watching carefully – can we trust such a madhgiach?

    Reply
    • 41. Hashgocha Elyona wrote:

      It was all okay under the supervision of the OK. The mashgiach had “super vision” of all the entertainment and frolicking.

    • 42. Milhouse wrote:

      The mashgiach’s place is in the kitchen. If he’s out on the floor, who’s making sure the food is kosher?

    • 43. Thinking Chosid wrote:

      Milhouse, you are WRONG to say “The mashgiach’s place is in the kitchen”! That is SILLY! If the mashgiach is locked in the kitchen then OUTSIDE food and wine can be brought in and all the dishes and cutlery can become treif! NO! A mashgiach must be vigilant of what is happening EVERYWHERE in the establishment! He was watch the kitchen AND the dining-room! He must keep an eye on the food and the patrons to make sure they don’t mess up the kashrus of the place.

  • 44. There is a boss wrote:

    This smells of the OK being blackmailed by… Forcing the owners to post a statement..

    Would love to know who was the black mailer?

    Reply
  • 45. Oy wrote:

    While I am careful to wear a sheitel and tznius clothing, I have children, who rachmana litzlan, dress not tznius and have been willing to go to such a party.
    I pray every day for them to be yirei Shomoyim. Moshiach now, please!

    Reply
  • 46. Yea lets plaster the streets wrote:

    We should plaster the schuna and shame them publicly. We should also find out the names of people who attended and post it publicly.
    Each and every person who was there should be made known ASAP!!!!!

    Reply
    • 47. Seriously? wrote:

      I personally did not go to the event and don’t necessarily agree with it. But do you think the Rebbe would publicly shame people for their wrongdoings? You may think you are better then these people but shaming people in public is a new low.

    • 48. Milhouse wrote:

      Absolutely. You seem to have no idea who the Rebbe was or how he operated. He repeatedly made public protests when wrong things were done, even inadvertently. There is no question that were he still farbrenging there would have been a sharp sicha about this, and heads would have rolled.

  • 49. Moishe pipek wrote:

    #34 How about the pictcures of the belly dancers this those who could not go there would not lose.

    Reply
  • 53. inaction wrote:

    while our children are being corrupted en mass we cannot figure out what is wrong…

    Reply
  • 54. the symptoms wrote:

    these hedonistic partys are just symptoms of the terrible situation we all find ourselves in. all this icky delving into food… taivos… noga… and celebrating it so brashly… wine… meat… LOOK AT ME’ness is the crux of it all.

    have we lost our erlichkeit? our minds?

    Reply
  • 55. Lawrence wrote:

    It has nothing to do with children
    21 yrs of age is hardly below age of consent
    Judgmental is easy
    Jealousy even more profound
    If OK caves in to presssure on grounds unconnected to the strict Kashrus one demands on dining out then intelligent kosher-keeping individuals should stand behind the restaurant management and support them WHATEVER supervisory body they are compelled to approach to carry on their superb culinary experiences offered to the Religious Community

    Reply
    • 56. Milhouse wrote:

      The strict kashrus one demands on dining out is not limited to the food. A hechsher on a restaurant means that a Jew may eat there without breaking the law. If the kitchen is kosher but the chairs are shatnes, you cannot give the restaurant a hechsher, because it is forbidden to eat there. (You could certify take-away meals and deliveries only.) Nor can you give a hechsher if the entertainment is such that it is just as forbidden to watch it as it is to eat pork on Yom Kippur.

      That we’re talking about adults is irrelevant. The Torah is not an a la carte menu, and it is not a matter of choice. A Jew, whether under or over 21, has no right to eat treif, or to break Shabbos, or to watch treife entertainment, any more than he has the right to rob a bank. And the hechsher’s role is to guide him so he doesn’t end up breaking the law inadvertently.

  • 57. Lawrence wrote:

    Number 14 might just be right !!!
    If so
    Chofetz Chaim shiurim in all sheiblich would not be amiss

    Reply
  • 60. Lawrence wrote:

    Thinking choson at 32 is far from
    Mashgiach is in kitchen !!!
    Fat lot of good if he was hanging about the dining area
    Pure and utter nastiness without any correlation what so ever

    Reply
    • 62. Hashgocha Protis wrote:

      A mashgiach needs to have some yiras shomayim to have credibility on the food he supervises. If he watches the belly dancer – he may be a good “mashgiach” overseeing on the entertainment but is disqualified to be trustworthy on the kashrus of the food. Is a michalel shabbos qualified to be a mashgiach? That is not “acting all frummie” but rather a basic job qualification to be a mashgiach.

    • 63. Milhouse wrote:

      All the yiras shomayim in the world won’t help if the mashgiach is not in the kitchen!

    • 64. Crownheightser wrote:

      The mashgiach must also supervise the dining room and make sure no outside food or treif wine is brought in. He can’t just stay holed up in kitchen and ignore what goes on in the eating areas (where the entertainment takes place)!

  • 67. The truth wrote:

    Funny the OK cares so much, years ago, le Marais was rented out for the night for a bachelor party, (back when under ok hashgocha). There was going to be adult bachelor party entertainment. The mashgiach told the OK he could not work such an event, the OK told him ” we give hashgocha on the food, not the entertainment” and since he said he would not work the event they fired him.

    Reply
  • 68. Yudi wrote:

    If this is what Chabad looks like 25 years after the Rebbe’s passing, what do you think it’s going to look like in another 25 years?
    Something to think about.

    Reply
    • 69. Chabad fan wrote:

      There is so much beauty in Chabad, especially Toiras Chabad. 25 years after the histalkus of the Rebbe, the beautiful Toiras Chabad is stronger than ever, sadly, there is hardly any leadership, and unfortunately, very little direction.

  • 70. Chaim wrote:

    “The pit is empty, there is no water” (בראשית לז:כג-כד)
    “והבור ריק אין בו מים”
    Rashi: There was no water, but snakes and scorpion’s there were.

    The pit is the head, water is Torah. When there is no water/Torah in the head, there is snakes and scorpion’s.

    Reply
  • 71. bzz bzz wrote:

    I saw the ad for the party on FB. Since I am a single it didn’t look very appealing and did not attend. I got the impression it was for married couples only – so a party was organized under the guise of a “purim party”. Very smart indeed. Additionally, I don’t believe the owners didn’t know what was going on there. Total lies. They are just worried about losing $$ and trying to cover their butt now.

    Reply
  • 72. cnl wrote:

    To #53

    THEY ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT BOUF AND BUN.
    THE PARTY TOOK PLACE AT BISON AND BOURBON!

    BUSHOS!

    Reply
  • 74. Lawrence wrote:

    On other site much has been made of Mashgiach’s responsibility etc
    That is pure nonsense and since my posts get published here but are censored there I deem it-my duty to repeat what I said in #51
    The post blaming mashgiach is incendiary to influence OK to remove Hechsher in retribution
    Mashgiach in an establishment has no authority to meddle in matters unrelated to direct Kashrus related matters. Kashrus as related to food production and the service thereof
    Don levy would unceremoniously sack any mashgiacch acting all frummie

    Reply
  • 75. Get some Snags to give mussar in Crown Heights wrote:

    Or some Chasidim from Williamsburg/Kiryas Joel.

    Reply
  • 76. SAD!!!!! wrote:

    THE ONLY THING THAT HURTS THE MOST IS THE BAD NAME THAT THIS WILL GIVE TO OUR REBBE.
    THE REBBE WORKED SO HARD AND SENT SHLUCHIM TO BRING BACK YIDDEN TO BE PROUD TO BE MEHUDAR!!!
    HOPEFULLY ALL YOU WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS PARTY WILL ALSO COME TO REALIZE THAT THE SHTUS IN THE WORLD IS JUST THAT SHTUS!
    ONLY MITZVOS ARE REAL!!!!

    Reply
  • 77. shame wrote:

    Mimulo, the frock like Matisyahu before them and Shlomo calbach before them and many others in between used the Chabad community to build themselves into a brand of half Hasidic half cool and open minded which the people who originally follow them think is cool and amazing only to realize that all these people want is money and fame. Shame.

    Reply
    • 78. Amused wrote:

      Naming people is one thing. Grouping people together and explaining all of their motives as one, is humorous.
      Reminds me of a joke: What is the simularity between Smokey the bear and Alexander the Great? They both have the same middle name.

  • 79. make lubavitch great again! wrote:

    lets sign a petition requesting the mosdos to expell the family’s of the organisers, and in the future of attendees.
    the only way to get our community back!

    Reply
    • 80. Chabad-lite wrote:

      Expel “them” from where exactly? We don’t go to your schools, we don’t daven in your shuls, and we have every right to live in Crown Heights. You want to live a sheltered and restricted life, go live in New Square.
      We are the new face of Crown Heights.

  • 82. Lawrence wrote:

    Again apologies renumbered so it is #67 upon which I commented
    Really nasty comment. Let’s build not destroy !!!

    Reply
  • 83. Anonymous wrote:

    All this is free advertising for the establishments. Those that participate know it’s wrong, and choose to go anyways. Those that are against this stay far away. So all these articles and hype are accomplishing is enticing the young and naive and those on the fence. The following on social media of these establishments will now grow in popularity. They are thrilled, they don’t have a moral compass to care what upstanding people say about them. They don’t care about the Rebbe and yiras shomayim. They are seeking to destroy. You are all strengthening the negative.

    Reply
  • 84. orshm wrote:

    very unfortunate.
    people can come up with something which is tznius and very creative.
    But
    someone needs to be clever and creative.
    nevertheless, its incredible that this would happen in the Rebbe’s shechuna. We have to get back to the ikkar.

    Reply
  • 86. Lawrence wrote:

    Do you really think that Brocho comes from trying to destroy parnossos?
    Do you really think that success we all so want for our children to be Mazliach in school, in limudim etc comes from destroying such possibilities for children of those we perceive, from our lofty perch, to be inferior to us and ours?

    Enough now!

    Reply
  • 88. Sam the Troll wrote:

    I think the saddest thing here is the name – “Arabian Nights – Purim at the Persian Palace”. Anyone with a minimum amount of education with the most cursory understanding world affairs knows that Arabs and Persians have entirely different cultures, past and presently. The name makes no sense.

    This means that a bunch of Ohalei Torahniks who think Persians are Arabs organized this embarrassment, which is just sad. They wasted their lives at Ohalei Torah, and now have neither Torah nor an education …

    Reply
  • 91. Fiona wrote:

    Sadly Sam the Troll demonstrates his literary ignorance
    Had he attended a top grade JEWISH school where Judaism plus secular subjects were taught simultaneously he would not have made such a sad comment
    Wonders I if he even knows what “Arabian Nights” is!!

    Reply
  • 92. meir rhoodes bat ayin israel wrote:

    what would Shimshon Stock [ah] have said? for those who don’t remember him , he was a voice of tolerance and love. the outrage expressed is understandable however bringing another jew to yiddishkite is our way! instead of 42nd st. , the jew is our next door neighbor. so folks , there’s work to do in the hood!

    Reply

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