Bintel Blog

London Synagogue Auctions Off Celebrity Underwear

By Eleanor Goldberg

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With Passover just around the corner, goodwill is aplenty: Some charities are delivering seder meals, and others are arranging for holiday invites. The New North London Synagogue however, is taking a different approach. They are auctioning off autographed celebrity underwear on Ebay.

Simon Hattenstone, a writer for the Guardian, decided to request celebrity underwear as a way to raise awareness for needy individuals who seek refuge in the Masorti synagogue. “Look, I’m not a seedy old hack,” Hattenstone wrote in his column. “I help run a drop-in centre for destitute asylum seekers. These people have no money for the basics in life. One of the things they most lack is underwear, so we’re drawing attention to it with an auction of celebrity underwear.”

While he relates that procuring the unmentionables from the stars was somewhat difficult, matching the pair to the name isn’t. Actress Emma Thompson’s black stomach-flattening Spanx came with the note that reads, “These are the knicker equivalent of Fort Knox”. Songwriter and poet John Hegley’s briefs feature a poem about ants and pants. The singer Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas sent in gold, metallic boy shorts. And writer Nick Hornby and his young son adorned a pair of boxers with stickers and a feather.

Undergarments apparently from actress Helen Mirren, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, and illustrator Aline Crumb are also on the block.

With the description of each lot comes a note about the New North London Synagogue’s Destitute Asylum Seeker Drop In: “Destitute asylum seekers live here in fear, terrified of being forcibly returned home. They are not allowed to work and don’t even have the money to buy underwear which is basic to human dignity. Our celebrities will both raise funds for them and draw attention to their plight.”

Bidders can procure their very own gently used memento until March 31.


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