An alleged hate crime at a Jewish cafe was ‘the most brazen’ a community had seen. It was all fake, police now say.

B5XDQU6RCRCXPMT4T4K7PLPWBMSource: The Washington Post

It was the eve before Passover and the Jewish community in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was on edge.

They could tell from the yellow police tape blocking off the entrance to the BerMax Caffé and Bistro, a popular Jewish-owned restaurant in the area, that yet more vandals had left their mark. It appeared to be the fourth time in a matter of months that the cafe had been targeted with anti-Semitic vandalism — only this time it seemed much worse.

By morning, police said a woman inside the restaurant had been assaulted by a suspected burglar just after closing time. Hateful black graffiti covered the walls. Plates and glassware were shattered on the floor. Tables and chairs were overturned. Immediately, community organizers began mobilizing. A fundraiser for the cafe’s owners was created. An interfaith vigil was scheduled.

“It’s the most brazen act of anti-Semitism that we’ve seen in our community, and perhaps ever,” Adam Levy, communications director of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation last Friday, the start of Passover.

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