In Manhattan, one of the few remaining kosher bake shops is Moishe’s in the East Village at 115 Second Avenue.
Moishe’s survived poor times and punks, for over four decades, as well as gentrification; and it serves up relatively affordable, good-enough bakery fare, challot, black-and-white cookies, cookies, strudels and danishes. On Thursdays, they sell potatonik, a mix of a kugel and potato bread. A kosher bakery has been in the location for over eight decades.But for years, its glass window facade has been marred by graffiti that was etched in acid and could not be cleaned. It was hard enough to stay in business, and owner Moishe Perl decided not to spend capital on new windows.
For what might be fifteen years, I wondered why the glass was never replaced. And two months ago, I even asked Rabbi Perl, the baker, why the glass was never fixed.
His unpretentious logic made sense to me, and that was that. NOTE: He does have a background in counseling psychology, so who am to argue? The son of Romanian born Holocaust survivors, Perl is one of nine children; and he himself has nine children and over three baker’s dozens of grandchildren.
But back to the story of the windows…Along came a hero of this story. But actually, I can’t tell you his name. It’s a secret and he wishes to remain anonymous.
Where others were content to accept the vandalized windows, he saw an opportunity to take action. At first I thought it was a crowdfunding project. It wasn’t. This man, reportedly, offered a blank check to the bakery to replace the windows, and a few weeks ago, new windows were installed.
Sure, these contributed funds could have been spent on refugees, or dozens of prune and cheese danishes, but sometimes you just need to overcome your worries and spend dollars on moisturizers, facelifts, windows and facades. Glaziers have to eat and make a living, too.