Bringing a Bite of Old Brooklyn to Ukraine
The rich Jewish traditions in the city of Uzhhorod were all but wiped out by Nazi death camps and decades of Soviet rule. Now one born-and-bred New Yorker aims to bring them back, one perfectly browned challah at a time.
“People back in America say that Jewish life in Ukraine is finished. I don’t look at it this way. Ukraine was always a Jewish place, with a Jewish history and a Jewish identity, and will always be.”
We are in Uzhhorod, the regional capital of the western Ukrainian province of Zakarpattia, and these are the words of Aaron Levitz, who knows a great deal about what people say in America, and about Jewish life in Ukraine. Born and raised in Long Island, he is now the proud owner of the Brooklyn Bakery, the first kosher bakery to open in Uzhhorod in decades.
Zakarpattia has always been a borderland: In the twentieth century alone, it went from being part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to part …