inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Doylestown Vandalism Outside Jewish Owned Business Inspires Good Deed

Sometimes, a bad action brings about a good one.

Someone painted anti-Israel graffiti on Doylestown borough sidewalks Sunday, including two messages in front of Siren Records, a Jewish-owned store.

“Instantly, I was very sad,” said Heidi K., manager of the music shop. “Then I was a little confused. It was so misplaced. And I was trying to figure out who could have done it and why they did it there.  I was worried that they did it because this was a Jewish-owned and Jewish-run business.

“But later, it was brought to my attention there were other pieces of graffiti matching that in other places around the vicinity of the store, as well,” she said.

She called the police, and they took a report, she said. The shop had been a target of antisemitic vandalism twice before in recent months, she said.

When the phone rang, she was looking into how to clean paint off of concrete.

Joshua Roberts, a Holland chiropractor, offered to come over and clean it off.

“The whole thing started with my wife [Jennifer],” said Roberts. “She sent me a picture on Facebook about the vandalism.”

He decided to help and called the store.

“Heidi picked up the phone,” said Roberts. “She was very upset and told me that this had happened before. She sounded just heartbroken.”

“I’m a business owner myself,” said Roberts. He knew someone who had a power washer that he could borrow.

“I said, ‘Listen, I got a buddy who’s got a power washer. I’ll be over, and I’ll take care of it for you.’”

So, Roberts jumped into action and, with his oldest daughter, Sydney, 22, to help, brought the power washer to the record shop to clean off the graffiti.

“It was not that big of a deal,” he said, downplaying his act of kindness.

But all the time, he was thinking of his late mother, Judith Roberts. It’s been two years since she passed away.

“She was a big proponent of Israel,” said Roberts. “And I thought this would be a good, it’s called a ‘mitzvah.’ It’s a good mitzvah for my mom and myself, my daughter, and whoever else. But it’s no big deal.”

But it was a big deal for Heidi K.

“About a half hour later, he came over with his lovely daughter,” she said. “And he was wearing his Israel Defense Forces T-shirt. And we got everything hooked up. I poured some Simple Green slime over the two spots, and we got to work.”

When Heidi put up a picture of Josh Roberts helping clean off the graffiti on her Instagram account, someone commented, “Free Palestine.”

“A young girl,” said Heidi. “The girlfriend of somebody we know through kids, like six degrees of separation.”

“I love art,” she said. “I like graffiti art. But this is not right. It’s not the right place. And perhaps these young people feel this is a safe place to express their views. But even if you like the politics of it, this is costing us money. And it’s causing a stir in the community. And it’s making people question where Siren Records, as a business, stands. And it’s making people think we’re taking a stand. If they think that it was sanctioned by us, that’s not what we do.”

“We wouldn’t deface our own sidewalks,” said Heidi. “So, it’s certainly not appreciated.”

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or