UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A mural depicting the owner of a Ukrainian Village Jewish deli and her parents was badly defaced this week and needs to be repainted.
Jeff and Judes, 1024 N. Western Ave, is named after owner Ursula Siker’s parents. The now-defaced mural on the front garage door is based off a childhood photo of Siker with her mom and dad, who are supposed to visit the deli for the first time from North Carolina in a few weeks.
“It’s just a big bummer,” Siker said.
Jeff and Judes opened last year in the middle of the pandemic, selling Jewish staples like knishes, corned beef and pastrami and matzo ball soup.
The mural was designed by local artist Left Handed Wave in conjunction with Siker. It was completed almost a year ago ahead of the deli’s opening.
Siker says the mural had been tagged before, but it was small enough to touch up. This time, the damage is too extensive and the entire thing will have to be replaced.
“Since it’s mostly, like, full paint over the mural, we won’t be able to just retouch it. We actually have to do it over,” she said.
Siker doesn’t plan on reporting the incident to the police. Instead, she’s hoping the tagger reaches out, accepts responsibility for the defacement and offers to help fix it.
We’re “hoping that the person that is responsible comes forward and does the right thing by offering to paint a primer coat over it again, so that we can get it redone,” she said. “Hopefully they learn that this wasn’t just something for them to cover up. And it was an actual really personal thing.”
Siker said she’s received an outpouring of support from customers and the community since posting about the graffiti on social media.
Still, the tagging stings, especially after a tough year during the pandemic.
On top of the defacement, a Jeff and Judes employee tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The deli will be closed Friday for other employees to get tested. Because everyone was masked and vaccinated, Siker said she hopes to reopen Saturday.
“These aren’t faceless places that they are putting something over,” Siker said. “We’ve all had a really hard year, and we’re all putting our lives into what we’re doing, and those are literally my parents.”
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