Philadelphia food festival canceled after uproar over disinviting Israeli vendor

The Moshava Israeli food truck thanks fans for their outpouring of support during the incident

Amy Spiro is a reporter and writer with The Times of Israel

Chef Nir Sheynfeld, right, with colleagues at the Moshava food truck. (Moshava/Instagram)
Chef Nir Sheynfeld, right, with colleagues at the Moshava food truck. (Moshava/Instagram)

A culinary festival in Philadelphia slated for Sunday was canceled amid an uproar after it disinvited an Israeli food truck from taking part.

The “Taste of Home” festival, coordinated by the organizations Eat Up the Borders and Sunflower Philly, was called off Sunday, less than a day after it was announced that the Moshava Israeli food truck had been disinvited.

“Due to the ongoing situation with one of our event partners… we have decided to cancel the ‘Taste of Home’ event today,” Sunflower Philly wrote on Instagram. “We will continue to host events with people of all races, nationalities and sexual orientations who are aligned with our mission.”

Amid the backlash, Eat Up the Borders deleted its Facebook and Instagram profiles, as it faced a wave of criticism for the decision on Saturday to disinvite Moshava.

“In order to best serve our guests, we decided to remove one of our food vendors for Sunday’s event so that we could deliver an optimal experience to all,” the original statement from Eat Up the Borders read. “This decision came from listening to the community we wish to serve and love. We do stand by our initiative to give vendors from all nationalities a platform to showcase their talents and provide an awesome experience for all.”

Moshava, a food truck serving Israeli cuisine that opened in Philadelphia just last month, said at the time that it was “deeply saddened by this. The organizers of the event heard rumors of a protest happening because of us being there and decided to uninvite us from fear that the protesters would get aggressive and threaten their event.”

The Moshava food truck in Philadelphia. (Screenshot)

Later on Sunday, Moshava posted on Instagram thanking people for the outpouring of support the vendor had received following the incident.

“We wanted to say thank you to everyone who reached out to us,” the food truck operators wrote in the post. “The love and support we have been receiving the past 24 hours (have) been overwhelming.”

Moshava said it is working with both Eat Up the Borders and Sunflower Philly “to try and educate and grow together in a safe space for everyone. Although we were disappointed with how the situation was greatly mishandled, we do not believe the organizers intention came from an antisemitic place, but the threats they were receiving to their event were.”

Earlier on Sunday, the Anti-Defamation League’s Philadelphia chapter said it was “deeply disturbed” by the incident, and was working to meet with the organizers “to discuss what happened, provide education on antisemitism and share communal security resources.”

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