Several thousands of dollars worth of merchandise were sold at unbelievabley low prices this past Christmas Day.
The goods were the hundreds of final, must-go Judaica pieces of the Jewish Bookstore of Greater Washington, which was owned by the parents of and operated by Rabbi Menachem Youlus.
Youlus admitted earlier this year, and was convicted in Manhattan Federal Court, of spinning a web of lies that ensnared synagogues and donors — including a billionaire philanthropist. Youlus created a bogus charity built on fictional tales of rescuing Holocaust-era Torahs, sold forgeries and
pocketed the dough.
He was sentenced in October to just over four years in prison, a term that he recently started to serve, leaving the bookstore without anyone to run it.
The Dec. 25 sale, which ran from 8 a.m. to midnight at Congregation Shomrei Emunah, included some 50 chanukiot, 50 Seder plates, 200 Kiddush cups and 2,000 pieces of jewelry, among other items. The event was put together by Baltimorean Marla Lewis, a local marketing and sales professional. Lewis assisted the Jewish Bookstore of Greater Washington in the end of December in packing up its contents, transporting them from Silver Spring to Baltimore and then marketing the sale. She said several hundred people from the community attended.
Lewis said she was unaware of plans for another, similar venue to the Jewish bookstore in Silver Spring; Youlus and his family had attempted to sell the store for several months, including four sales that fell through in the final hour. Unfortunately, said Lewis, Youlus’ parents, in their 80s, are simply too old to run the operation.