New York

West Hartford's Judaica Store Closing After 31 Years in Business

The store is the only one of its kind between New York and Boston, selling everything from menorahs and mezuzahs to books and prayer shawls as well as fun gifts like baby onesies and children’s toys

In just a few weeks, a piece of Jewish history in West Hartford will be gone for good. The Judaica store in Crossroads Plaza is closing its doors.

“This store is really serving every cycle in Jewish life” sad owner Rivka Dvorin who opened the business in Hartford 31 years ago before moving to its current location in Crossroads Plaza.

Dvorin says after years of success, the growth of e-commerce and people buying goods online has led to a major decline in business. Dvorin says her efforts to find a buyer for the business were unsuccessful.

The store is the only one of its kind between New York and Boston, selling everything from menorahs and mezuzahs to books and prayer shawls as well as fun gifts like baby onesies and children’s toys.

Word of the store’s closure was heartbreaking to longtime customers like Cheryle Marcus, who has come here since childhood to find things that celebrate her faith.

“I bought a gift for my cousin’s wedding, a beautiful dreidel. I bought a menorah for one of my goddaughters. And I buy little kitschy things for all of the kids around the holidays,” said Marcus.

Marla Cohen has worked at the store alongside Dvorin for most of those 31 years and is also sad to see it close.

“We’ve seen generations now. The kids I taught in Hebrew school are now parents with children of Bar Mitzvah age. It’s nice to see that” she said.

The store begins closeout sales this weekend before shutting down for good. In the meantime, the woman who kept this place a reality for so long is trying to remember the good times and its place in the community for so many years.

“I love my store. It’s my little girl that I never had. It’s bittersweet. It’s really bittersweet,” she said.

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