I grew up in Mountaindale, New York at a time when it was "A Shetl in America" and lived all my life (except for the time i spent in the military) living among Jews and working with Jews in the New York metropolitan area.

So, while driving me home from Silver Sneakers (a senior citizens exercise program), my friend said,

"SIZ SCHVAIR TZU ZINE A YID" ("It's hard be a Jew.")

I retorted,

"SIZ SCHVAIR NICHT TZU ZINE A YID" ("It's hard not to be a Jew!")

Part Two

In 1983 Outlook Magazine published my article titled, "A Shtetl in America". Twenty-five years later I am using the last sentence of the article as the last words of the epilogue.

Our world of the American shtetl lasted for twenty-five years (1915-1940), passing from the scene with the coming of World War II. The few who were part of it are older now, and sadly, the American shtetl will soon pass from memory as well as from reality.