Is There a Judaica Store Near Me
New York City once had dozens of Judaica Store Near Me now two independent ones remain in Manhattan. The fourth-generation owner of J. Levine Co. Books and Judaica says the next generation doesn’t shop in stores, so his Midtown Manhattan shop is shuttering at the end of May. But it shouldn’t be seen as a sign that people have lost interest in Jewish ritual objects, a historian says. Instead, it’s a reflection of how consumers are buying their stuff now.
On the right side of his store, Seltzer has a standard-issue Jewish book shop: volumes from Orthodox publisher ArtScroll sit regally on the shelves, beside specialty titles like medical ethics, biblical geography and how to comfort mourners. A rack of prayer shawls is in the back, and framed Jewish wedding contracts hang up front.
Seltzer’s left side, however, is a different world entirely: an emporium of novelties for an Orthodox clientele with money to spend. There are greeting cards embossed with menorahs, birthday wishes in Hebrew or “Welcome to your new yeshiva.” A long, twisting shofar dangles from the ceiling.
The store also carries an array of Israeli artists, from the contemporary ceramic style brought to Jerusalem by Armenian pilgrims in recent centuries to the welded metal sculptural work of Gary Rosenthal and Sandi Katz. One of the most popular items is the set of mezuzahs by Mi Polin, which finds real mezuzahs from houses destroyed during World War II and creates bronze casts of them.
When the store first opened, Seltzer sold 80 percent books and 20 percent Judaica, but he had to shift his business in order to stay afloat. Now, he sells 50-50. He hasn’t decided if he’ll open another store, but he knows the next one will probably be smaller than his current location, and won’t be able to compete with online retailers.