Impending Jewish-Bakery Apocalypse?

Gertel’s Bakery: passing into history?Photo by Lauren Klain Carton

Gertel’s Bakery, one of the last of the old-time Jewish bakeries on the Lower East Side, may be shutting down, another victim of the condo-ing of New York. “We haven’t finalized anything yet,” owner Abe Stern told us, without denying the possible closing, widely discussed in the neighborhood. If that bakery’s classic hamantaschen and rugalach are on the way out, we wondered, Can Yonah Shimmel’s knishes and Kossar’s bialys, other pillars of Jewish baked goods, be far behind?

“Thank God, no,” says Yonah Schimmel proprietor Alex, who prefers not to give his last name. “We’ve been here a hundred years. We have ten more years on our lease. We don’t rush our knishes, we make them by hand.” Um, okay. Good! But what about Kossar’s, whose Grand Street bialy shop is the oldest in the U.S.? “Poo! poo! poo!” says Deborah Engel, one of the owners. “That’s a Jewish superstition, like knocking on wood. We’re okay. We have eight years left on our lease, and the terms are very reasonable.” After that, though? “We’ll see.” Poo! Poo! Poo!

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Impending Jewish-Bakery Apocalypse?