Home News Amid anti-Semitic abuse, supporters rally to help Emory Village bakery

Amid anti-Semitic abuse, supporters rally to help Emory Village bakery

by Celia

An ad hoc group of supporters of Ali’s Cookies in Emory Village has raised more than $18,000 on a GoFundMe account to help the bakery, which has suffered a loss of business and anti-Semitic threats since Israel was attacked by Hamas five months ago.

Ali’s Cookies owners Nofar and Sagi Shabilis said the business has received anti-Israel and anti-Semitic abuse online and in person since the war began on 7 October.

Sandy Springs resident Sherwin Krug said he started the fundraiser to help the Ali’s Cookies owners after reading about and visiting the bakery.

“I saw a young couple trying to sell cookies and make a living in a state of desperation after their business was targeted,” Krug said. “Their sales had plummeted due to a boycott,” which the owners said began after they displayed an Israeli flag in support of their homeland. The Shablis’ moved from Israel to Atlanta in 2021.

Nofar Shablis has seen potential customers enter the bakery and leave when they see the Israeli flag, seen customers drape Palestinian flags on their tables and put up stickers alleging genocide by Israel. She received a phone call threatening to burn down the bakery with everyone inside.

In late February, the shop received an anti-Semitic postcard with a drawing of Anne Frank, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the Holocaust, and a speech bubble that read “So much fun!”.

Shablis said she reported all the hate messages to the police and she and her husband installed a camera in the bakery.

“We’re more careful now,” she said, noting that they have two young children. “It’s scary and frightening, but we’re fighting back.”

The support they have received from both the Jewish community and the wider Atlanta community “has been like a light in the darkness. There are so many good people and the support is really helping us.

Still, sales have not returned to where they were last September, she said.

Krug said he felt compelled to do something and enlisted friends to help raise funds and support for Ali’s Cookies. After contacting the owners, he raised more than $18,000 in just eight days.

At that point, 332 donations had been made for a total of $18,398.

“People are donating as we speak,” Krug added, “including a friend from New Zealand, a friend from South Africa and people from Israel.

Krug and his wife began distributing the cookies to first responders in the metro Atlanta area. These included the emergency medical services at Grady Hospital, various police and fire departments, the emergency rooms at Scottish Rite Hospital and Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital.

A former South African who has lived in Atlanta for more than 30 years, Krug said he has a full-time job, so he gathered a team of people to help distribute the cookies.

Amy Lewis “texted everyone in my network of friends and family” to encourage their support. Lewis drove in from the suburbs on Super Bowl Sunday to buy cookies.

Lewis gave Krug most of the credit. “He likes to do projects. It’s just the kind of guy he is,” she said.

One of Krug’s projects was to work with friends to buy an ambulance for the Magen David ambulance service in Israel. He said the ambulance is in production at GM.

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