Local Kings Highway-native Jonathan Greenstein has made a big name for himself in the world of Judaic antiquities, according to an interesting article in Jewish Scene Magazine.
Greenstein runs J. Greenstein & Co., described as, “the only auction house in the world dedicated to the sale Jewish ritual objects.”
He began his journey at the young age of 14, when he started working in an antique shop after school, starting a lifelong fascination with antiques and old treasures. His fascination led to a well earned expertise in antique knowledge, history, and appraising, using money he earned as a waiter to invest in a small personal collection of antiques.
Combining his love of antiques with a love of traditional Judaism, Greenstein began focusing his efforts on acquiring Jewish relics from Eastern Europe, Germany, and Russia. According to the article, Greenstein’s personal collection includes:
Several dozen Chanukah menorahs, known as chanukiot, all created between 1730 through 1960… The chanukiot include one that was used in the IDF trenches made out of bullet castings, also an art deco chanukiah, and ones fashioned after the top art stylings of 19th and early 20th centuries Europe.
In addition to augmenting his own collection, Greenstein’s expertise lends itself to helping wealthy parties track down rare and valuable lost artifacts and treasures the world over. Greenstein’s expertise in authenticating is invaluable because, in his estimation, 70 percent of all reported artifacts are fakes. The article describes Greenstein as, “so well regarded within this world, these collectors and many in the art world know Greenstein as a modern-day guardian of antique Judaica.” High praise indeed.