On the 14 blocks of Lee Avenue, one of the neighborhood’s bustling commercial strips, the Hasidim’s unusual demand for shoe repair converges with a centuries-old cobbling tradition. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, a new wave of immigrant cobblers from Central Asia have taken on much of the city’s shoe repair, once largely the province of Italian immigrants.
Many of this new generation are Bukharan Jews who have come from Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. They bring with them a long cobbling heritage that is evident in shoe repair shops throughout the city, but especially on Lee Avenue, home to four busy shoe repair shops operated by Bukharan Jews.
Dovid Miyerov runs one of those shops, and he and Lee Avenue’s other cobblers are always particularly busy before Passover, which this year began last night. On the Monday before last year’s holiday, he and his assistant put in a 16-hour day. As the local Hasidim prepared to observe the coming Seders with unblemished footwear, the two cobblers were coping with a holiday rush.(more from nytimes)
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