A candidate for New York City Council is organizing a Tuesday rally against high business rents at West Side Judaica, a much-loved community institution on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that is slated to close due to mounting costs.
“Every one of us has lost favorite stores and restaurants in recent years. These institutions, like Judaica, weave our community together. They give us a shared identity,” Mel Wymore, a Democrat running to represent an Upper West Side district, said in a statement. Wymore’s press release links to a plan to help businesses remain afloat.
“I can’t afford the rent and the internet,” owner Yaakov Saltzer told the West Side Rag about his store’s impending close. His store, which he bought in the 1980s and first opened in 1934, is located between 88th and 89th Streets on Broadway.
The store sells candles and yarmulkes, and Saltzer’s shop is staffed by many in his extended family. He told the West Side Rag in 2014 that the shop was endangered and that he was “just staying afloat.”
Wymore will face a crowded field this fall in order to represent the district. He has been profiled in The New York Times as one of the first transgender people to run for political office.