photo credit: Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald
Sometimes it takes more to save a deli than just writing a book or blog post about it. Sometimes a deli’s salvation needs people to pitch it, help out, and take risks. Sometimes, just sometimes, it requires a community to step up to the plate and do what’s right.
That’s the story out of Calgary recently, when the owners of the Haifa Kosher Deli were hospitalized, and the deli threatened to shut down. In a small community like Calgary’s, where the kosher popoulation relies on a place like Haifa for much of their food, this would have been terrible. ShalomLife picks up the story:
In late December, co-owner Ivor Kavin underwent open heart surgery and his wife Denise was left all alone to run the deli. The job took a toll on her health and shortly after Ivor’s surgery, Denise came down with bronchial asthma and infected lungs. As soon as Ivor returned home from the operation, he took over the store but fell ill again and ended up in the hospital at the same time as his wife. That’s when the community stepped in.
“They are a group of angels,” Denise said about the volunteers to the Calgary Herald. “How do you thank them all?”
Sheila Martin led the pack after hearing about the couple’s misfortunes. She phoned the House of Jacob-Mikhev synagogue to recruit volunteers. Soon, about 20 volunteers signed up for rotating shifts.
There’s another story about the effort in the Calgary Herald as well.
This underscores more than anything I’ve heard, seen, or written about that the link between Jewish delicatessens and their communities are deeper than those of other businesses. It’s not just a restaurant, it’s a lifeline for kosher eating (if it’s kosher), lifecycle catering (bris’ to shivas), and love between patrons and owners.
Zay Gezunt to you all Calgary. Maybe my brother left your city too soon.
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