Orthodox Jewish Man Denied Service at N.Y. Garage for ‘Spreading the Virus’

Danielle Ziri
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Orthodox Jewish men in Brooklyn practicing social distancing as they pray, March 20, 2020.
Orthodox Jewish men in Brooklyn practicing social distancing as they pray, March 20, 2020. Credit: Mark Lennihan / AP
Danielle Ziri

An Orthodox Jewish man was refused service at a garage around 65 miles northwest of New York City on Monday because he was “spreading the virus,” as a worker at the repair shop put it.

The man, who filmed part of the incident in Goshen, New York, is heard asking an employee at the garage: “I just want to understand, why all the other guys can have service and you don’t want to accept me?”

When the garage worker tells him he has to leave because he is “spreading the virus,” the man responds: “Why do I spread the virus more than other people?” The worker then ignores him.

According to the Yeshiva World News website, the garage is a Toyota-certified location and the man had made an appointment. According to the report, when he arrived, he was told that the garage was closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, but he quickly realized that this was a lie.

After the coronavirus began battering certain Jewish communities across New York State, the Anti-Defamation League warned that the crisis may trigger anti-Semitic incidents, as happened during last year's measles outbreak, which afflicted the Orthodox community heavily.

“This likely is the first in-person video we’ve seen, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t other incidents we have not been flagged about,” said Evan Bernstein, vice president for ADL’s Northeast Division.

“As we have said, we have seen more and more examples of anti-Semitism online around the coronavirus and hope that it does not crest over into verbal or physical incidents,” he told Haaretz.

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