The Congregation Ohev Shalom Sisterhood Gift Shop has a large variety of beautiful Judaica featuring many talented artists including Gary Rosenthal and Sandi Katz. The shop is located in the front hall of the Synagogue. The Judaica Shop is open during Temple office hours and by appointment. COS Sisterhood members receive a 10% discount on their purchases.
BERKELEY, Calif. — It’s not the world Yaakov Seltzer remembers, when people would come into his West Side Judaica Store Near Me to buy a prayer book for their baby and a kippah for their new son or daughter. Or when they’d stop in on a Friday afternoon to wish him a good Shabbat. Now, his customers call ahead to order their books and kippahs online or stop by for a few items they can purchase in stores around the country.
He says that while sales have fallen, he’s been unable to pay his $24,000 monthly rent. An automatic increase kicked in three months ago, and he can’t afford the higher rate. His family’s business, J. Levine Co. Books and Judaica, also has struggled to compete with online sales but has managed to stay afloat by selling its products through Amazon and other third-party sites.
But Seltzer doesn’t want to be “the boy who cried wolf.” He plans to start a going-out-of-business sale soon, and he thinks that if enough customers turn out, he might be able to convince his landlord to lower the rent.
But even if that happens, it’s likely that the number of independent Jewish bookstores will shrink further. Several boutique Judaica shops, mostly connected to museums or synagogues, are still open in Manhattan. And only two stores, both owned by fourth-generation family members, sell a broad range of Judaica to Jews across the religious spectrum. J. Levine Books and Judaica, in Midtown Manhattan, is closing at the end of May. That will leave only West Side Judaica and a handful of other stores, most of which focus on one or more specific traditions. Many of those stores have also started to offer more items through third-party sites, which can cut into their profits.