J. Levine Books and Judaica

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J. Levine Books and Judaica
FoundedVilkomir, Lithuania (1890)
New York City (1905)
FounderHirsch Landy
Headquarters5 West 30th Street,
New York, New York
ProductsJudaica, books
OwnerDaniel Levine

J. Levine Books and Judaica is an independent bookstore located in Midtown Manhattan. J. Levine is a fifth-generation family business and one of the oldest standing Judaica stores in United States since it opened in 1905.


The business was founded in 1890 in Vilkomir, Lithuania,[1] where sofer Hirsch Landy began selling the Torah scrolls he produced. In 1905, he immigrated to the United States and continued the business as a pushcart on the Lower East Side. In 1920, his son-in-law Joseph Levine incorporated and expanded the business to selling synagogue vestments, and his sons Harold, Melvin and Seymour Levine continued the business.[2]

J. Levine expanded to its current location in Midtown Manhattan, where it offers books, menorahs, and various Judaica,[3] including gifts and children's games and toys that are popular during Hanukkah.[4]

Like many traditional booksellers, the store saw a decrease in sales in the first few years of the 2000s, as Amazon.com surged in popularity. Seymour's son Daniel Levine, the fourth-generation owner, said business dropped 18 percent from 2000 to 2005. However, the store expanded its own business online in order to compete, and sales rose 20 percent, Levine said.[5]


  1. ^ Greenberg, Zoe (September 30, 2016). "From Torahs to Tchotchkes, J. Levine Books & Judaica Is a Go-To Store". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  2. ^ Lipman, Steve (November 15, 2011). "Seymour Levine, 90, Owned Famed Bookstore". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Religious Bookstores Thrive As They Move to Diversify". The New York Times. November 25, 1991. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "CNN Hanukkah gifts feature". CNN. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Sales, Ben (May 22, 2012). "Jewish bookstores writing new chapters in competition with Internet". Times of Israel. Retrieved 3 August 2015.

External links[edit]


  • Jackson, Kenneth, 1995 The Encyclopedia of New York New Haven: Yale University Press