Borenstein's has deep roots in Detroit's Jewish community. Store owner Abraham Borenstein started it back in 1946 on what was then 12th Street in Detroit (and is now Rosa Parks Boulevard), when he bought an existing Jewish bookstore. He moved his business to its present location, tucked away in a shopping plaza in Oak Park, in 1967.
The shop bills itself as a Jewish bookstore, and they have plenty of literature on the topic. Books range from religious texts to a biography of children's book author Maurice Sendak. But books are just a small part of what Borenstein's offers — it's your one-stop shop for all things Judaica. Aside from other literature like Torah scrolls and Hebrew magazines and newspapers, you'll also find supplies like yarmulkes, CDs, kosher wines, and even kitchen supplies, among its eclectic wares.
When we walk in on a weekday afternoon, Borenstein's son Charles is minding the store, and we chat with him between a steady stream of customers gearing up for the Hanukkah season. Dreidels, candies, small gifts, Hanukkah-themed wrapping paper, and other tchotchkes make up a sizeable portion of its offerings. One highlight is the store's selection of menorahs, which come in an almost paralyzing array of options. Styles range from traditional to modern, elegant to whimsical. You can even kick it old-school by burning olive oil (like the original miracle), or go electric, with prices ranging from $15 to $70.
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