From 1868 to the late 1950s Rosenbaum’s Department store was one of the many Jewish-owned storefronts that adorned Fifth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. The store can be partially accredited with the large influx of Jewish citizens that moved to the Downtown area.
The Hocus Pocus Occult Emporium, located on Meyran Avenue in Oakland, calls itself the oldest Occult shop in Pittsburgh. The store itself is tiny, dimly lit, and very welcoming. Once you step through the threshold at Hocus Pocus, as stated on their website, they aim to make “you feel as though you’ve stepped into a magical realm between worlds.” Inside you will find anything you might need to take part in the magical arts, from Tarot decks and crystals to sage for Native American smudging rituals. The store is for “mystics, poets, witches, shamans, dreamers, healers, seekers, & visionaries of all paths,” from novices to experts.
As one of the few independent bagel stores in Pittsburgh, and the only one that is certified strictly kosher, Pigeon Bagels is a unique contribution to Squirrel Hill.
When considering Judaism in Pittsburgh, the automatic place one associates with it is Squirrel Hill. A welcoming and fascinating neighborhood, Squirrel Hill is home to all types of Jews from Reform to Orthodox, old to young, and immigrants to natives. Pinsker’s Books and Judaica, which includes a Judaica bookstore and a restaurant called Café Eighteen, is truly a gem of Squirrel Hill and the wider Pittsburgh Jewish community.