Boycott Called for Kosher Restaurant in LA Over Owner’s Stance on Immigration Policies

by Avi Abelow

Defend Boyle Heights, an “anti-gentrification coalition devoted to community and our hood” held an “emergency” protest at the grand opening of Asher Caffe in LA. Asher Caffe is a kosher restaurant opening for the benefit of the whole downtown LA Boyle Heights community, with few eatery options available.

Asher Cafe Owner

Asher Shalom is the owner of the kosher Asher Caffe. He himself is an immigrant to the United States, and a majority of his employees are immigrants as well.

“I immigrated to this country 30 years ago and I am blessed and grateful to have been a part of the Boyle Heights and Downtown LA community ever since. Boyle Heights is my second home and it’s where I’ve started two businesses, including Asher Caffè & Lounge. Through my businesses, we have proudly created hundreds of jobs for the community. My staff and team members come from diverse backgrounds, and some of them are immigrants themselves. I consider many of them great friends and family, and I am humbled to work alongside my talented and diverse staff. I am proud to be an immigrant and wholeheartedly support hiring fellow immigrants.”

“I believe that all people should be treated with humanity, dignity, and respect – there is no hate tolerated at Asher Caffè & Lounge. It has always been my vision to create a communal space for Boyle Heights where family, friends, and colleagues can come together over good food and celebrate what makes our community so great.”

The Protest

Shalom posted facebook messages in support of President Trump’s immigration policies. In response to these posts the Defend Boyle Heights organization called for the protest to bring upon the closing of Shalom’s new caffe in the neighborhood.

“They really intensely protested and accosted all the visitors that came to our grand opening event,” said Shalom’s son David.

“It was very scary,” said Shalom’s daughter Yael. “There was a lot of people protesting outside wearing masks…and they threw a significant amount of feces at our windows.”

Mr. Shalom’s Overall Message

Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. All Asher Shalom wants is to help his community, with jobs, good food and supporting communal institutions, as he has for 30 years.

“As a deeply involved member of the Boyle Heights community, Downtown LA and the surrounding areas, I support the Hollenbeck Community Police Station and the LAFD in any way I can. Asher Caffè & Lounge has always been proud to extend a 40% off discount to our hardworking law enforcement, fire departments, CHP and armed forces (army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard). I humbly support and donate to various organizations within Boyle Heights, such as local churches and schools.”

“Please know that the doors to Asher Caffè & Lounge are open to all – everyone has and always will be welcomed.”

The Asher Caffe is located on 945 S Boyle Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Risch

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