Center of Town: We were shut down by the NJ Attorney General, OCPO [UPDATE 8:10 AM: Being Reopened]

See the announcement below.

UPDATE 8:10 AM: The store will be reopened today.

This comes after an outcry by local community leaders, who proved to authorities this was considered an essential store, permitted under the executive order.

The store will be open from 10-6:30 PM.

All are requested to continue to practice social distancing, both inside and outside the store.


This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 10,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

Got a news tip? Email us at, Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.

Check out TLS's latest Instagram Posts

There are 40 Comments to "Center of Town: We were shut down by the NJ Attorney General, OCPO [UPDATE 8:10 AM: Being Reopened]"

  • Just asking says:

    Why is it any different than Lowes and Home Depot & any other hardware store which is considered essential services?

  • What?? says:


  • Leah says:

    I thought housewares was on the list for essentials?

  • Hello?? says:

    I just called the ocean county prosecutors office to demand an explanation. They said to call back between 8-4. I sure will! Center of town has been following all guidelines with only 10 customers in the store. They are under the essential stores category. Disgraceful.

  • Lakewood resident says:

    Possibly non essential but then home depot and lowes should be closed too!!

  • duvi says:

    this has nothing to do with health concerns, as all customers were practicing extreme social distancing, its about policing the Ghetto!!

  • Zevy says:

    Ridiculous. It’s a regular home improvement store which is essential.

  • Eli g says:

    According to the state website home improvement and hardware stores are permitted to remain open.

  • D says:

    If it has to do with Pesach, it’s easy for them to say non-essential. Like Amazon… 🙁

  • me says:

    These libs are loving this! Police state – deciding who can & who cant open…

  • Enough is enough says:

    These dem-o-rats think they are our dictators. Who gave them the right.

    • justsayin.... says:

      You gave them the right when you voted them back into office each election.

  • F says:

    Anyone who thinks anti semitism ended with the nazis…

  • Concerned citizen says:

    This is absolutely outrageous nothing can be more essential then center of town right now

    I saw the line and it was going all the way outside and people were really careful all the rules were followed

    What in Heaven’s is going on over here

  • What’s going on says:

    This is hardware store and was singled out just because the owners are Jewish . My husband had an online order he needed to pick up from Home Depot the other day .he went in masked and gloved but none of the Home Depot employees were protected nor were they practicing social distancing.

  • SK says:

    Definitely a neis happened now and not a week ago people mostly finished buying Pesach housewares #BrightSide

  • bizarre says:

    This is blatant bullying by the OCPO and we all know it. The solution is simple:
    The same person(s) who told Governor Murphy how compliant we are should call him back and tell him to get these miserable bullies of Center of Town’s back. They are absolutely essential. And they are NOT breaking any social distancing laws.
    The Nerve !!
    And where are our local elected officials ?
    The Freeholders, and all the other stuff we vote for like Shepsalech every 3-4 years.
    I cant. I just cant.

  • My Take says:

    After chatzos on Wed. it won’t be essential. They should wait until then. The supermarkets are packed with people. Are they being policed?

  • Eli says:

    As per executive orders 107,108 home improvement stores are essential. Now I need to schlep out to get the parts that I need to fix my shower, chutzpah! And dollar tree with half an aisle of groceries stays open…

  • Gabis says:

    If search the naics code and sic codes for center of town it’s listed as a variety store and undefined. Not like home Depot and Lowe’s which is classified as a hardware store.
    Why? Who knows? Probably done without thinking. But either way this likely has something to do with the way they are coded.
    However you want to say, a glass dish for your Seder is not essential. If you were going for nuts and bolts and a lightbulb it’d be different.
    Before everyone jumps to conclusions and creates a chillul hashem by calling the ag and the prosecutor think what good will come from it?

  • shmiel says:

    Seems the guy didn’t get the memo: only on minyanim do you ‘masser’, not on essential things.

  • GY says:

    Not essential!??
    Look at the lines? Look at the reaction? It sure seems essential right now!

  • Shreklach says:

    Seems like everyone is out to prove how tough they are on the jews. How upsetting to see govt acting this way.

  • upset says:

    Does anyone know the phone number to the AG office and the OCPO phone number. I think the more people call, the more attention they get from us the more likely they are to reopen Center of Town.

    • just me says:

      the number is on the bottom of center of town’s notice they posted… do u see it? and yes i agree, everyone should try to make an effort to call.

  • Mark Levin says:

    The state of NJ and its AG are NON ESSENTIAL!

    I will be calling the AG office in the morning!

  • Zf says:

    Where are our askanim? The one s that tell us to vote for these ocean county officials over and over again. These same officials that will close COT but that Fire marshal is still working

  • Pillow in drum set says:

    I think I have an idea who might have a great connection with Governor Phil Murphy at this crucial time.


    The Governor thanked him publicly.

    Sam, I know you and your family, you are a great BAL CHESED, PLEASE CALL THE GOVERNOR AND ASK HIM TO OPEN THE STORE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

    It might just be an oversight, and if you will explain him what they sell, he will agree right away.


    We have young couples that are making PESACH for the first time, and every time they turn around they realize that they need something else.

    Sam thanks a million for everything that you do for Lakewood and especially for giving your 15 respirators to the state.

    Sam, I wish you and your family and your GREAT MOTHER a frelichen YOM TOV.

  • BH says:


    I’ve sent this to Govener Murphy via Instagram and to President Trump’s office via Instagram and his Assistant Avi Berkowitz.

    You can call Govener Murphy office,u can call Prosecutor office,we can all go to the Press and let them know about, without making lots of noise ,this won’t get attention.

    Whomever has the power to protest this travesty got to take a stand.

    I was there yesterday,they were holding the letter of the Law to the fullest extent.


  • BH says:

    I’ve sent this to the Govener Murphy office via Instagram,to the President Trump’s office via Instagram and his assistant Avi Berkowitz via Instagram.

    We got to make this noise loud,call and go to the Press, otherwise they won’t pay attention.

    This is a Travesty.

    I was there yesterday,they were following the law to the books.

    Anyone that has the power to do something do it.

  • Bd says:

    Please bombard the AG and ocpo with phone calls!!!!!! A disgrace

  • Yankel says:

    I know this will be hard for many people but think twice before you start screeching. Just maybe they have good intentions? Maybe they didn’t think this goes into home essentials category? Calm down, take 2 deep breaths. We are in the midst of a worldwide epidemic and law enforcement is doing an unreal job at keeping us safe. You can respectfully call if you would like to discuss a matter but please realize there is a world going on around your bubble. As a fellow yid I feel the pain of the store-owner but let’s calm down. Everyone is hurting now.

    If you do call plse remember to first thank the person you speak with for all they are doing to keeping us safe.

    Have a chag kasher samaich!!

    • JustWondering says:

      It’s not about the store owner, many businesses are suffering. It is about the fact that the store is essential for many people making Pesach

  • Lkwdguy says:

    Unbelievable! Same thing happened to amazing savings. The 2 most essential non-food/clothing stores stores in town. What does dollar tree have that’s more essential than any other store in town? Like the Governor said, there’s a special place somewhere…

  • Avi says:

    Center of town should remain open receive a criminal complaint summons and worry about it later

  • Yid says:


  • Lkwdguy says:

    I guess I’ll take back my comment.

  • JB says:

    Perhaps Hashem is telling us the store is non essential. Just maybe we are being shown how excessive we have become. Do you think everyone in Europe spent all this money on everything new for Pesach. We have lost our sense of reasonableness and cause much suffering to our brothers and sisters whom we say we love and care for. Do we really?

    You can all view this from your own perspectives, however I feel this is the message from HKBH

    Let’s go into YT B’simcha without all the political nonsense and claims of anti semitisim.

    Let’s teach our children the true story of Pesach. How we were ripped from slavery in one day with no time to prepare (no center of town).

    Cmon Lakewood, let’s get back to our roots and celebrate the coming YT B”simcha

    • just me says:

      WE’RE NOT IN EUROPE!! why do we have to pretend we are? i dont get those ppl… in the shtetl… we could and definitely should care for our brothers just the same even if we have 5 new pots for pesach that they didnt have in europe. mb go buy another yid who cant really afford pesach some pots and the like in COT if ur so concerned… in europe they washed their laundry by hand- do u have a washing machine?? in europe they did a lot of things we dont do and theres nothing with us using the new conveniences now avail to us

  • Aaron K. says:

    Thank you all who called the OCPO to speak up. We are living in dangerous times and the authorities are at times over-reacting. This is less out of malice and more from ignorance. As citizens keep up your high level of awareness and speak up respectfully in our interests. They heard our voices and realized they made a mistake – we thank them for that.

    Over Chol Hamoed we are going to have huge numbers of children home – and the Roberts carnival is canceled, Six Flags and Jenkinsons and local attractions like miniature golf will be closed as will be most parks. Let us be extra sensitive and not overwhelm the few locales that are open – staying home is our Mesiras Nefesh as Jews and citizens – not easy with a houseful of children, but necessary. We expect numerous potential incidents over Chol Hamoed impacting our families and suggest extreme caution when out and about.

    Last night a young Lakewood family drove to Spring Lake. The Boardwalk was officially closed. Hundreds of Spring Lake locals slipped under the police tape and were strolling the boardwalk, with no enforcement. The frum family sensed that if they did the same they would get singled out for enforcement. They turned around and came home. They followed the law, painful as it is and chose to avoid an incident.

    Sometimes it feels like we carry a special burden that others are not expected to.

    We do. Proudly.