Another Judaica Store on Essex Closing after 60 Years

Israel Wholesale & Retail Judaica has been on Essex Street for six decades, most recently at No. 23.

The Lower East Side is losing another mainstay of its Jewish heritage.

“The people, they don’t come down here anymore,” Heidi Yousef says emphatically when asked why Israel Wholesale & Retail Judaica plans to close in the next few weeks. “We don’t have that many stores here; it’s not that interesting.”

Newly Renovated Apartments at 13 Essex Ready to Rent

Last week we reported the gourmet coffee shop, Cafe Grumpy, is moving into 13 Essex. There’s more news today about this tenement buiding, the onetime home of Judaica store, Zelig Blumenthal.

In the past few months, the apartments above this building’s two storefronts have been undergoing major changes. The renovations now completed, Magnum Real Estate Services is  marketing at least five rental units.

Zelig Blumenthal Closes Shop on Essex Street

13 Essex, the former home of Zelig Blumenthal.

Yesterday we received an email tip from Kevin Walter, asking: “Did anyone notice that Zelig Blumenthal’s store at 13 Essex Street has vanished without a trace? Signs are gone? Interior is completely empty.  Another bit of the old, Jewish Lower East Side gone.”  Today we dialed the phone number for the Judaica store, a fixture on the Lower East Side for close to 60 years. The man who answered said they’d moved to Brooklyn.