An unlikely mosaic on a Little Italy store floor

Arthur Avenue at 187th Street is the Bronx’s Little Italy—once a thriving enclave of 100,000 but now a much smaller oasis of restaurants, delis, pastry shops, and markets in the borough’s Belmont section.

By all accounts, it was and is a heavily Roman Catholic neighborhood. Which makes it all the more surprising to come across this Star of David mosaic at the entrance to an Italian specialty food shop.


But the shop is called Teitel Brothers, and it all starts to make sense. Opened in 1915 by two Italian-speaking Austrian brothers, Teitel Brothers imported cheese, olive oil, and other items from Italy.

Almost 100 years later, Teitel Brothers still packs in loyal customers; part of 186th Street off Arthur Avenue was even renamed Teitel Brothers Way.

And the weathered Star of David remains cemented to the ground.

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4 Responses to “An unlikely mosaic on a Little Italy store floor”

  1. Ellen Levitt Says:

    There are several former synagogues in that area. Most were converted into churches. I have documented them in my book The Lost Synagogues of the Bronx and Queens (2011–Avotaynu). In fact I found 2 on Arthur Avenue.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    That’s really interesting. I’ve seen a few on the Grand Concourse, but I didn’t know about the ones on Arthur Avenue.

  3. William Gilbert Says:

    Unusual here in NY perhaps, but you will see the Star of David on the floors of many ancient secular and church buildings in Rome as it was considered a sign of good luck.

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