Herta Bloch in Memoriam

Herta in elevator

We are very sad to announce the passing of Herta Bloch on December 24, 2015 at the age of 94. We feel fortunate to have met Herta a couple of years ago, and to have spent two lovely afternoons visiting her in her Washington Heights apartment, where she had lived for more than 50 years. One of those afternoons, we sat in her living room overlooking the Hudson River as she told us stories about her life — her youth in Germany, emigrating to the U.S., and stories about running her store Bloch & Falk with her husband, Alfred. She spoke in great detail about the store, and she could recall individual customers, even those she hadn’t seen in many decades. Our post about Bloch & Falk, which we published here in 2013, has had an overwhelming response – mostly from people who had shopped there and have very strong and wonderful memories of eating the wide variety of meats – (wursts and aufschnitt) that the store produced. There have been almost 150 comments to date, reflecting how unique and special the store was, both for the products it produced, as well as for the generosity and kindness of its owners. You can read that post HERE.

On our second visit with Herta, we spent an afternoon baking krokerle – chocolate-hazelnut spice cookies – in her kitchen. She was a gracious host, and we had a lovely time chatting and laughing. Afterwards, we crowded around her tiny kitchen table and had cookies and coffee. You can read that post HERE.

We are glad, too, to have met her children: Marion, Andrew, and Richard (now sadly deceased, but whom we had a phone conversation with several years ago and who introduced us to Herta in the first place), and their families. Our heartfelt condolences to them on their loss.

Thanks for sharing with us, Herta! May you rest in peace.

12/27/2015 [obituary from Riverside Memorial Chapel in NYC]
Herta Bloch, nee Wertheimer, was born in Kippenheim, Germany a town in the black forest area, with a population of 1800 and approximately 40 Jewish families. The family came to America on April 1st, 1938 and settled in Manhattan. She worked as a live-in maid so that her parents could rent out one of the rooms for extra income. She married Alfred Bloch on March 30th, 1946 after he returned home from the Army. They worked together everyday in the family kosher butcher shop, Bloch & Falk, which catered to the German Jewish population of Washington Heights. They had 3 children, Marion, Richard and Andrew. Richard passed away 2 years ago, on 12/27/13. Marion Cherson Bloch is married to David Cherson, and they have one daughter, Shoshana Cherson. Shoshana is engaged to André Dudkiewicz. Richard Bloch was not married at the time of his death and had no children. Andrew Bloch is married to Kathy Hayes-Bloch, and they have 2 children, Kiera Bloch and Evan Bloch. All but Richard are still living. Herta had a sister, Margot Kohn, who died on 10/16/12. Margot is survived by her husband Jacques Kohn, but they have no surviving children. Herta had a large network of extended family and friends that she kept very close contact with right to the end of her life. She had many first cousins, spread all over the US, England, Australia and Israel that she has maintained close ties with. She was extremely devoted to her family. Herta lived an exemplary life filled with humor, grit and resiliency, making the best of any life circumstance that came her way.

7 comments
  1. Diane Siesel Kremin said:

    My condolences to the Bloch family. I have many fond memories of being shlepped to Washington Heights to buy cervelat, aufschnitt, liverwurst, lunge wurst, ring wurst, etc. and then when they opened a store in Queens it became a weekly ritual. Sunday we had dinner of aufschnitt and other delicacies that we can no longer find. They may not have been the healthiest but they were surely delicious. My parents introduced Bloch and Falk to me and I introduced the German deli to my children. It is sad that the recipes are no longer available for someone to reproduce.
    Diane Siesel Kremin

  2. My heartfelt condolences to the family. I too have many wonderful memories of Bloch & Falk and enjoyed my trips there as a child ( and the free samples I always got when we arrived). The liver wurst and tea wurst (which for some reason in our family we called “schmearwurst” still make me smile, I can almost taste them now. The store and the delicacies within were a major part of my life.

  3. joycnathan@aol.com said:

    I also would like to extend my condolences to the family. Marion, I remember your mother and exceptionally warm, gracious, friendly and generally, very lovely. She always had a kind word to say in her “sing-song” lovely voice. It was also a big treat to receive a slice of bologna or some delicious piece of wurst which she handed every child in a very generous and graceful way. Thinking of you. Joyce Nathan

    • mfrank68 said:

      Thank you for this thorough and loving remembrance.

  4. Fay said:

    It was the Bloch’s Landjaeger sausages which left their impression on us in Manchester uk xxx bye bye Herts

  5. Lynn Rothschild said:

    I want to express my sympathy to the Bloch family. I grew up around the corner from the store and I remember going there with my parents often. Thursday afternoon was when my father would pick up the weeks kosher meat.
    Regards Lynn Rothschild

  6. Donald C. Strauss said:

    Gosh. Reading this news brings back happy memories from the early 50’s when my parents took me to the butcher shop. We lived in Englewood and then in Teaneck NJ and made the bus trip in to pick up our meats ranging from salami and liverwurst to tongue and brisket. Hard to believe how the years have flown. Thanks for your kind remarks on a wonderful women and piece of history.

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