Roslyn Weiss and Carolyn Auerbach are closing the doors on their beloved Boutique Judaica after nearly 36 years in service to the Denver community.
They deserve our profound appreciation, admiration and gratitude.
Boutique Judaica has been a community treasure and resource every bit as much as it has been a business.
For thousands upon thousands of us, Roz and Carolyn and their crew have helped us celebrate all the important simchas in our lives – births, bnai mitzvot, graduations, weddings and anniversaries.
Indeed, Roz and Carolyn have watched with pride as babies who received gifts purchased in their store at birth, have returned to Boutique Judaica as parents to continue the family tradition for another generation.
The two women, a dynamic duo who are pioneering women entrepreneurs, had a mission and a dream and made enormous personal sacrifices – supported by their husbands and families – to keep their store viable as our community demographics evolved and changed – not to mention the way that Internet shopping has revolutionized retailing.
Whatever Roz and Carolyn earned, and in their early years it was zero, was certainly not enough. No sane entrepreneurs would have hung in as long as these two women did motivated by profit alone.
No, Roz and Carolyn came to view the store, located at 5052 E. Hampden Avenue (Denver, 80222), as their joint-custody child and their customers as extended family. Along with their dedication to selecting and displaying unique gifts and related Judaic products, Roz and Carolyn helped their customers navigate the entire gift buying experience, dispensing advice and helpful insights.
Nowhere was that more appreciated than among their legion of loyal non-Jewish customers, who frequented Boutique Judaica knowing they’d be made to feel at home, even as they wrestled with understanding Jewish customs and tradition, and what type of presents would be both appreciated and appropriate.
As recently as early January 2013, neither Roz nor Carolyn gave a thought to shuttering their store – as difficult as maintaining it could be. They remained soldiers of commerce and community.
Through all their years together, facing personal and professional hardships, the Weisses and the Auerbachs forged a close, close bond. Roz and Carolyn related to one another as much as “sisters” as they did partners. And lending them love and encouragement were their husbands, Chazan Moshe Weiss and Ralph Auerbach, himself a business owner and community servant.
Ralph had been in ailing health for some time and Carolyn dedicated herself to his care and comfort.
Nonetheless, when Ralph passed away on January 4th, the loss was shocking and devastating to both families. In the odd way that fate sometimes behaves, Carolyn then was injured when she fell during the shiva (mourning) period.
It was not such a surprise, with the Weiss-Auerbach team in mourning and pain, that these two brave, wonderful women concluded the time has come to take a break.
We wish good people and good institutions could and would live forever. God did not create the world thusly.
Even the finest, most wonderful businesses have their limits. Think Star Bread, Utica Deli, Tobin’s Pharmacy, New Fashion Cleaners, Fashion Bar, Meyer’s Kosher Meat Market, Forman's Bakery, Max’s Mobile Market, etc.
While Carolyn and Roz may be clearing their inventory and closing their doors, Boutique Judaica will live on in the hearts and memories of so many of us. The store touched our lives, was part of our most cherished family events, and will not be forgotten – even as it will be missed.
Thank you Carolyn and Roz, Moshe and Ralph, of blessed memory (Z”L), for 36 years of loyal service. Mission Accomplished.
Note: Roslyn Weiss and Carolyn Auerbach will be featured on tonight’s edition of Radio Chavura, a weekly 30-minute program broadcast each Sunday at 6:30 pm on 990 KRKS AM in Denver. The interview with them was pre-recorded on January 3, 2013.
Radio Chavura, which celebrates the many contributions of Colorado’s Jewish community, can also be streamed or downloaded www.Chavura.com.