After 39 years of business, New York bagel shop H & H Bagels of the Upper West Side served its last bagel yesterday to great fanfare, despite the fact that they still operate a midtown bakery and store. JTA Editor in Chief Ami Eden offered on-site video commentary (above, filmed by Uri Fintzy), while JTA Web Editor Daniel Treiman explored the origins of this store; not as Jewish as you might think.
Just how Jewish is the hole-y bagel? From our archive, here’s a 50-year timeline of bagel metaphors, slurs and achievements :
1960 Hillel director of the University of Chicago asks students "to reject the ‘bagel and lox’ concept of Judaism" (a metaphor later shared by Jewish state legislators, Zionist movements & Israeli officials)
1961 An Israeli company installs a giant oven in Gold Medal Bakery in Philadelphia, which churns out 500,000 bagels per day
1963 El Al airlines introduces New York bagel breakfast on flights
1965 "Letters from home, salami, lox with bagel and cream cheese" missed most by Jewish GIs in Vietnam
1969 NY congressman alleges that a Jewish U.S. Marine was subjected to physical violence and harassment by drill instructors who painted a Star of David on his forehead and called him "Jew boy" and "bagel."
1970 French President Georges Pompidou denies jets to Israel, approves them for Libya; is mailed a bagel-a-day in protest for more than ten weeks
1979 Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Philadelphia facilitates sale of a Jewish butcher shop run by Holocaust survivor to aBlack meat cutter; latter will continue to serve bagels
1984 Author of "Jews in Old China" claims he invented a Chinese version of the bagel
1993 Berlin bagel store cited as an example of Jewish renewal in the German capital
1994 Former U.S. Ambassador to Geneva Morris Abrams introduces kosher bagels in Switzerland
1995 JTA reporter Tom Tugend writes about a drive-through bagel joint in Los Angeles
1997 At President Clinton’s inauguration, the first vendor to sell kosher food on the National Mall includes bagels on the menu. Separately, Dunkin Donuts boasts bagels, declaring, "It’s worth the schlep"
1998 Citing "over-saturation in the bagel market," western U.S. bagel chain Noah’s New York Bagels ceases kosher certification in most stores
2005 ¿Lo quiéres tostado? JTA writes about two bagel stores in Costa Rica
2006 After Second Lebanon War, Hillel International Director Wayne Firestone says, "When we watch bombs falling on Haifa and soldiers held in captivity by Hamas and Hezbollah, as Jews we can’t just line up for bagels."
2008 U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) — and eventual DNC chair — says Presidential candidate Obama "needs to come down and have bagels and cream cheese in the condos and he will be fine."