Iconic Jerusalem bakery closes after 123 years

Hummus spot Taami also shuts doors 65 years after opening in capital.

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June 12, 2019 04:35
2 minute read.
Iconic Jerusalem bakery closes after 123 years

Matti Lendner bakes challah for Hanukkah inside his bakery in 2005. . (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)

 
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After operating for more than a century, the iconic Lendner Bakery in Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim quarter has closed.

A notice posted on the doors of the landmark bakery at the corner of Leib Dayan Street and Moshe Dov Lendner Street said: “The Lendner Bakery, which was established by Rav Moshe Dov Lendner in 1896, is closing its doors after 123 years of a family tradition of baking, helping others and supporting the community, which was passed down from father to son.”


The note continued: “We thank our steadfast and faithful customers for the trust they placed in us for all these years.” The bakery, named for its founder, was best known for its Shabbat and holiday challah loaves.

While the closing of the bakery marked the end of an era, it wasn’t necessarily a surprise. Matti Lendner, the third-generation operator of the bakery, died in 2016 at age 87 after decades of working the ovens. Dubi Lendner, one of Matti’s sons, told Haaretz on Monday that the bakery’s oven was in desperate need of repairs, and it simply was not cost-effective to fix it.

“A piece of Jerusalem history with aromas that only challah from Lendner have,” tweeted Arye Erlich, deputy editor of Mishpacha magazine. “A big chunk of the joy of Shabbat in my childhood. Oy, what can replace it?”

The Lendner Bakery isn’t the only family-run Jerusalem culinary institution that closed its doors in recent weeks after the death of its patriarch.

Taami, a popular hummus restaurant on Shammai Street downtown, has ceased operations after 65 years in business – for now.

The eatery closed shop last week for an unspecified period, almost three months after the owner, Jackie Majar, died at age 68.

“The Taami restaurant is a longstanding and beloved Jerusalem institution that for 65 years served its customers faithfully,” read the notice posted on the restaurant’s glass windows last week. “We experienced a huge crisis with the passing of our father, Jackie Majar, and we are still trying to cope with this huge loss.”

Majar’s daughters have left open the possibility that they will reopen the restaurant at some point in the future. The restaurant – which served hummus, falafel, shakshuka, stuffed vegetables, kebabs and more – opened in 1954 as a hummus stand by Alfred Majar, an immigrant from Bulgaria.

“We thank all of our customers who loved him and the restaurant,” the note continued. “It warms our heart to know that the restaurant is beloved by everyone. We will be going on a recess on Wednesday [June 5] until further notice.”

Edna Halbani, director of international visits at the Prime Minister’s Office for more than four decades, called the restaurant a Jerusalem institution.

“They’re closing the mythological restaurant Taami in Jerusalem,” Halbani tweeted last week, “and the world is silent.”

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