Bagel Wars Blocks Bagels vs Fox Bagels :

Round one to Blocks

Blocks bagels won a temporary restraining order 10/17/2022 against Fox Bagels, Bexley and North Market location. For Fox Bagels, this is very bad news. It means the judge has issued an emergency restraining order showing that a permanent restraining order would likely succeed. 

Blocks bagels filed suit in Columbus common pleas court 

 From CJN  “The lawsuit states that Jeremy Fox and others breached a contract between the entities by reopening Block’s Bexley and North Market locations as Fox’s, while purchasing a competitor’s business, using equipment and food from Block’s Bagel’s, and abandoning its financial and legal obligations to Block’s Bagels. At issue are two shops at 3012 E. Broad St. in Bexley and 59 Spruce St. in North Market in Columbus.

 Block’s Hot Bagels lawsuit“I share this update regretfully as I try to keep personal matters personal,” Harold Block wrote in an Oct. 12 statement provided to the Columbus Jewish News. “However, Jeremy Fox’s actions as it relates to the Broad Street bagel shop formerly named Block’s Hot Bagels, risks the livelihoods of my employees – I cannot sit idly by and watch this happen.

For Blocks bagels, this is a clear win. Hal Block wanted to ensure that his good name would not be Shmeared. Sorry, had to get the line in. You can “spread” this column if you would like. 

Why do I care?  My father was 34 years old when he had a heart attack. He survived, but while he was in the hospital recovering with a wife and three children, his partner in a business venture took my Dad’s car and emptied his bank account, among other not-so-nice things. We received help from my Grandparents since we were essentially stranded. I can tell you even though I was young, the feelings of helplessness and betrayal stayed with me all of my life.  The man who did this lost a legal battle and died of cancer a few years later.

If this lawsuit is valid ( still alleged), it is really disturbing to do this to a man of 89 who just lost his son to cancer.

The 18 difference Makers: 

This  Thursday, October 20, the Jewish News /Columbus, Ohio, is hosting an awards dinner for the 18 difference makers in central Ohio. The 18 difference makers list people who have been active in our community. I used to view these things as mutual admiration societies, but I can tell you that this year’s list is exceptional. 

Michael Broidy:  I have known Michael for many years. His entire life has been about giving service to synagogues and Jewish organizations like Israel Bonds, and now Michael is the representative of Jay Schottenstein and his various businesses. There is nobody more committed to our community than Michael. 

Michael is very humble, yet he fields calls from various world leaders, politicians and occasionally hello calls from me. He truly cares, worries about, and has been instrumental in his leadership of our community. Congrats.

Sonia Modes Schottenstein, age 96: Sonia is a sweet, unassuming, caring person. My family moved to Columbus, Ohio, and Sonia was a mainstay in a long-gone hotel/restaurant, Neil House, and the Top steakhouse. People would gather around the piano, take the microphone, and sing with her accompaniment. 

Sonia is not only an incredible piano player, but she is a matchmaker par excellence. Sonia and her family have been incredibly generous to the memory care center at Creekside and an abundance of charities. We need more leaders like her. 

Terri Barnett, Jim Bowman. I have known Terri since both attended the Ohio State University. I know them from community events which is the point. They are always at community events, helping, being involved, and taking leadership to keep our community strong. 

Michael Schiff is a very busy business mogul who finds the time to give to the Chabad house and local synagogues and stay involved as a leader. 

Brad Kastan, as a quote from a very famous Jewish movie ( The Godfather), said ( in a New York Italian voice), “ We need Don Kastan and those politicians that he carries in his pocket.” 

Brad grew up in a small town with hardly any Jews.  He absorbed the lesson of Harry Truman, who had a Jewish friend, a haberdasher who he grew up with. That friend had a significant influence on Truman, who eventually supported the creation of the state of Israel. While Brad’s and my styles are entirely different, I greatly respect his involvement in politics. His activities make for a stronger community and a stronger Israel. Molly is right there alongside Brad. 

Joy Soll:  I don’t know Joy that well, but my encounters with her are usually at community events. She, alongside her husband, has always been politically active and deeply involved with Jewish affairs, such as the Jewish day school. Joy’s husband, Bruce, represented another family in town, the Wexners.

They could start a new country between the Wexners and the Schottensteins, which would be a beacon to the world.

What most people DON’T realize is that these people, these families, DO NOT have to do what they do for the World wide Jewish community and Columbus, Ohio. Many extremely wealthy people could care less. Between Jay’s more traditional approach towards Judaism and the Wexners repairing the world, these two families have left their marks on our community here in Columbus and the worldwide Jewish community.

These people, including those I didn’t mention ( I don’t know them that well), are committed to our community in so many ways and should all be congratulated. 

We are small, but we should be proud to have such great people to help us lead the way. 

Now to my “ brother from another mother, “ Todd Appelbaum. 

Todd and I became friends during the late 1990s when we got involved in Aipac and many other organizations. Todd, our friends Michael Turoff and Marcy Golden/ Apotheker, ate, slept, and breathed Israel. Israel always had turmoil, but this period in the mid to late 1990s was extraordinary. The intifada, the Israeli response to the horrors of the Sbarro bombing, and a multitude of terror attacks on coffee shops, nightclubs, and Passover dinners all broke our hearts. I know the first thing Todd did during those times in the morning was open the Jerusalem Post,read any news on Israel, and discuss it with his friends. 

Many media outlets parroted the lies being pushed by the enemies of Israel. This period coincided with Bill Clinton’s peace initiative. It seemed we were so close to a peace deal and then the bottom dropped out. We took it to heart and dedicated ourselves to fighting back. 

Todd and I have developed particular political views that are not always popular with our community. Todd was called many things by his so-called “friends,” racist, far-right, etc. There are many people who only judge others by whose team they are on. I viewed these comments as particularly hurtful because I always admired Todd for his dedication to the Jewish community and the community at large. Those who said such nonsense was not there when every year Todd would go to the A and E church in not such a great area and deliver food. He not only provided food, but he also stayed to serve it. 

He instilled the idea of community to his children who he shlepped to community shelters to drop off blankets and anything else he could. 

Todd, a former coffee shop owner, does not have the means as a Wexner or Schottenstein, but I can tell you his dedication to our community is not for self-aggrandizement. He did it because of his love for humanity and the Jewish people.

The problem with Todd is he cannot say no. He gets involved with things, and when someone calls to ask him for help, he cannot refuse them. 

Todd’s outreach to the evangelical community should be a model to all of us. There are religious differences between the two, but Todd’s work has brought evangelicals and Jews together in many important ways. We both are questioned about that relationship. The evangelicals just want to get us to Israel and convert us to trigger the return of Jesus. To some degree, that is true, but I have always said that if they find some way to get us all to Israel and I see a man with a beard walking across the water, I will keep an open mind… Otherwise, their friendship and love have helped keep Israel strong.  

I can assure you that among this group of 18, there are many political differences; however, all of their commitment and love for the community should come first. It is time we set aside our differences and realize that we are all in this together. We want the same things. We may have different opinions and approaches, but ultimately, we are all we have. We learned that terrible lesson during the holocaust. 

I  am proud to call Todd my friend and congratulate him on this recognition, as well as the other seventeen members who make our community a model for others to follow. 

Larry Levine 

To contact me

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