Rabbi raises thousands for killed shopkeeper
A RABBI has raised thousands of pounds to support the family of a man who was killed after being attacked in in his store.
Vijay Patel, a 49-year-old father-oftwo, was serving in the Rota Express grocery in Mill Hill Broadway, NorthWest London, last Saturday, when he suffered a fatal injury.
He died in hospital on Monday afternoon.
The Metropolitan Police said a 16-year-old has been charged on suspicion of murder.
A JustGiving page set up on Tuesday by Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, the minister of Mill Hill Synagogue, raised more than £15,500 in 24 hours. The page’s initial target sum was £1,000.
Rabbi Schochet wrote on the crowdfunding site: “As the Mill Hill Jewish community it is appropriate that we demonstrate compassion for something so tragic that happened in our immediate neighbourhood.”
He told the JC: “I think it’s ingrained in my psyche, especially as a Chabad Rabbi, when there is crisis in the community, not uniquely to the Jewish community, there is a compelling need to respond. Mill Hill is a very diverse but equally close-knit community and when something strikes one of us, it affects all of us.”
The response from his congregation had been “incredible”, he said. “Everybody felt the shock of what happened on their doorstep and when the appeal went out, there was this overwhelming response.” Rabbi Schochet said he had visited Mr Patel’s shop “many Vijay Patel; Rabbi Schochet times over the years and I interacted with him on many occasions”.
Donors left messages of support on the JustGiving page. One wrote: “Wishing the families all our community’s support during this tragic and difficult time.”
Another said: “A kind and friendly man, who was such a constant part of life on The Broadway. Blessings and strength to his family.”