The recent news that the Streit’s matzo factory is looking to move from its longtime Lower East Side home has received plenty of media attention. After all, it has been a constant presence on the Lower East Side for… Well, it’s not at all clear, from reading press coverage, exactly how long it’s been there.
Intrepid Judaic media watcher Arieh Lebowitz pointed out that various media outlets have offered wildly disparate accounts of when matzo-maker Aron Streit set up shop:
The Canadian Press: “Aron Streit started the business in 1916 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and has expanded it over the years.” New York Daily News: “”Personally, it’s sad, because these are the halls my grandfather walked,” said Alan Adler, whose great-grandfather, Aron Streit, founded the firm in 1925.” Gothamist: “Aron Streit founded the matzoh company in 1914, revived it in 1923, and moved it into a red brick building on Rivington St. in Manhattan in 1925.” New York Sun: “The company was founded in the 1890s by Aron Streit and his wife, Nettie, who emigrated to America from Europe, according to a history of the company on its Web site.”
So which is correct?
This is what the Streit’s Web site has to say:
In the 1890’s, Aron Streit and his wife, Nettie, left Europe and came to America. In 1916, Aron opened his first matzo factory. There, on Pitt Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Aron and his first partner Rabbi Weinberger made all their matzo by hand. In 1925, Aron and one of his sons opened up a modern bakery in the same building on Rivington Street where Streit’s stands today. A few years later, Aron’s other son joined the business. With the family working together, the Streit matzo bakery prospered and Aron bought three adjoining buildings to handle the growing business.
Incidentally, the official company logo says: “Streit’s Since 1925.”