Toronto: Jewish store closed due to coronavirus is vandalized

Aleph Bet Judaica, closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, has its door smashed and cash taken.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Aleph Bet Judaica
Aleph Bet Judaica
Aleph Bet Judaica

A Toronto, Canada, Judaica store closed due to the coronavirus outbreak was broken into and vandalized earlier this week.

Aleph Bet Judaica, founded in 1988 and located on Bathurst Street in the heart of Toronto's Jewish community, had its windows smashed and its till emptied during early morning hours, when no employee was on site, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) reported.

FSWC has pushed for police to canvas the area and review surveillance footage, in order to identify possible suspects.

Moshe Joseph, the store's owner, told the Canadian Jewish News (CJN) that he was alerted of the break-in just past midnight, and rushed to his shop to discover that someone had thrown a rock through the glass front door and removed $250 from the till. The insurance deductible to fix the door was $1,000, so Joseph paid for it out of pocket instead.

Broken door at Aleph Bet Judaica Aleph Bet Judaica

Joseph told CJN that business had dropped 80% due to the outbreak, and that the hit came just prior to Passover, his busiest season. He also said that he does not expect to recoup the cost of the Passover items he purchased in anticipation of the usual sales.

"I will go bankrupt soon," he told CJN.

The store, closed to the public but still taking email and phone orders, posted the break-in on Facebook and requested support from patrons.

"Last week while we were closed for COVID-19, the store got broken into, vandalized and looted," read a post on Aleph Bet Judaica's Facebook page. "As a part of the Bathurst Manor neighborhood for over 30 years, we now need your help and support to keep the business open and keep serving the community."

"Consider us in your shopping for Pesach supplies this week!... Our owner, Moshe is offering contact less delivery services (all items handled in gloves and packaging) for all orders over $100 - delivered to your door or lobby, as well as gift delivery/ shipping...Let's help our local businesses get through this! Were all in it together."

Some of the Passover supplies ordered before the store's closure Aleph Bet Judaica