Window broken, shofar stolen in Berkeley

A burglar smashed a window and stole an expensive shofar from the Berkeley  store Afikomen Judaica in the early morning hours of Oct. 28, said co-owner Nell Mahgel-Friedman.

There was no evidence to suggest anti-Semitism was been the motivation.

Broken window at Afikomen in Berkeley

Mahgel-Friedman said she arrived at the store Sunday morning to find a broken front window and a smashed community bulletin board. A previous attempt at a break-in occurred three months ago, she added.

Mahgel-Friedman reported “a tremendous amount of support” from the local Jewish community and beyond. “It’s been very meaningful for us,” she said. “We’ve gotten numerous phone calls from local synagogues, the ADL, the Berkeley City Council, and people coming in the store and letting us know they care. People are saying we are an invaluable part of the community, a treasure to the greater Jewish community. The sentiment was very heartwarming for us.”

On his blog, Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley wrote, “Thank God every-one is fine and damage was minimal. But this store is our Jewish community’s treasure, and an attack on it is an attack on us all, Jewish and not.”

In 2010, vandals smashed windows at two Jewish-owned businesses in Oakland, Holy Land Restaurant and Grand Bakery.

Of the broken window and theft at Afikomen, Mahgel-Friedman said, “There’s no evidence indicating it was a hate crime. It was a random, mean-spirited act.” — dan pine

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.