Recently, there’s been a string of anti-Semitic assaults against kosher restaurants in Europe.
In December, a 29-year old Syrian asylum seeker holding a Palestinian flag smashed the windows of the glatt kosher Carmel Restaurant in Amsterdam and broke into the restaurant, for which he was later charged with vandalism. The shop owner, Sami Bar-On, decided it was irresponsible to keep the shop open without some form of permanent security.
Let’s consider this incident against a pattern of hate crimes against kosher restaurants — public Jewish spaces that are easily accessible to all, unlike synagogues, which are increasingly under high security. There was the kosher restaurant in Paris that was vandalized with swastikas. There was the anti-Semitic graffiti on Schmaltz Deli. There were the blood red swastikas painted on the windows of Simon’s Kosher Meats in Philadelphia. There was the anti-Semitic mail a Jewish Manhattanite and restaurant owner received. There was the time someone threw a large rock through the windows of Canada’s Mazal Tov Kosher Cuisine.
You get the idea. And this was all in the past year alone.
The sad truth of 2018: It may be time for kosher restaurants to start beefing up their security, just like synagogues and community centers do.
Shira Feder is a writer. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org