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Jewish Daily Forward

Old-School Brooklyn Hat Store Keeps Hasids and Hipsters Looking Dapper

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By Nate Lavey

Published June 03, 2013, The Jewish Daily Forward
Bencraft HattersStanley Goldstein sits at the center of a narrow hat store in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, fielding customers’ questions about brim sizes, crowns and colors. Bencraft Hatters, which was first opened in 1948 by Goldstein’s father, has been selling hats to Jews and non-Jews for 65 years and carries everything from cowboy hats and flat caps to the fedoras and Homburgs favored by the religious crowd. At 85, Goldstein still oversees much of the operation in Williamsburg, while Steven Goldstein, Stanley Goldstein’s son and the other owner of the business, can often be found shuttling between Williamsburg and the Goldsteins’ other store in Boro Park. In their own way, the two stores represent different part of New York’s Jewish community: The Williamsburg location accommodates a more secular crowd, including hipsters, while in Boro Park the clientele tends to be distinctly Orthodox.

Steven explained that “there are three or four hat stores in Boro Park, and for the most part each hat store takes care of a different sect of the community.” Bencraft is mostly oriented toward the Lubavitch and Modern Orthodox communities, which are not heavily represented in Boro Park. That means that customers sometimes trek across the city just to try on a Borsalino.

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Joanna Hershon and Adelle Waldman Grow in Brooklyn

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By Adam Langer, Published in the “Jewish Daily Forward”, August 07, 2013 Two of the strongest novels published so far this year, Joanna Hershon’s “A Dual Inheritance” and Adelle Waldman’s “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.,” happen to be written by young, Brooklyn-based Jewish women writing smartly and wittily from the perspectives of men. This might not be a remarkable fact in and of itself: Look for a smart, witty novelist these… Read More »Joanna Hershon and Adelle Waldman Grow in Brooklyn