Leah Forster

(JTA) — Two Brooklyn kosher eateries have cancelled hosting a sold-out New Year’s Eve show by an Orthodox Jewish comedian after rabbis threatened to pull their kashrut certification from the restaurants because the headliner is a lesbian.

Rabbis from the Vaad HaRabonim of Flatbush, which grants kosher certification, pressured the owners of Garden of Eat In and Orchidea to cancel because comedian Leah Forster is a lesbian.

Forster talks about growing up in the Orthodox community as part of her act. She does not talk about her sexuality or personal religious observance, she said in a video posted on Facebook.

Forster said in the post on Thursday that the owners of both venues apologized and offered to help find her a new place to perform her show. The restaurants said that if kosher certification were yanked they would have to close, the New York Daily News reported.

Forster said she has filed a complaint with New York’s Commission on Human Rights.

Forster’s New Year’s Eve bash was going to be hosted by Adina Miles, known as “Flatbush Girl,” an Orthodox mother and social media star who decried to the Daily News “the mafia nature of the kosher certification establishment who overstep their power and try to control community discussion and the restaurant owners.”

Publicity for the New Year’s Eve show says that it will be held in a Brooklyn venue to be announced, with kosher food.


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