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Endangered Yiddish Sign Is Saved

It looks like Toronto’s now-famous Yiddish window sign will survive after all.

As on Friday, the last vestige of Yiddish in the Kensington Market neighborhood was papered over by a new tenant.

Furious neighbors, who thought workers had scraped the letters off the storefront window, relentlessly pursued the owners of the bubble-tea shop set to occupy the space. The goal: To keep the window in place or save it.

They succeeded.

“We met with the owner of FormoCha, who is a part-owner in the franchise on Baldwin,” Dara Solomon, director of the Ontario Jewish Archives, told the Forward in an email.

“He was very kind and understanding. He understands the significance of the glass sign to the Jewish community. He offered to give it to us and to fully cooperate with its removal. When asked if he would consider leaving it in place, he said he would discuss with his partner and designer,” Solomon wrote.

Solomon had led the charge to save the window, which once graced Mandel’s Creamery before John’s Caffe, an Italian restaurant, arrived. John’s kept the sign. ForMocha almost didn’t.

“This is all good,” she said. “We are relieved!”

But ForMocha’s owner did reveal that his contractors scraped off one letter before they realized what it was, Solomon said.

Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward.


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