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I was born in 1933 in Paul Kimball Hospital. At the time we lived on a farm with my grandparents Meyer and Ray Friedman and the Zalkin Schein family (the present Manfred & Hilda Lindauer farm) in Whitesville.

Earliest memories are of the Friedman House, a Kosher boarding house with lots of fresh air and fresh eggs. A sign nearby was offering acreage on Route 9 at $100.00 per acre. The boarding house guests were Labor Zionists, Yiddish speaking, and always singing. There were always appeals for U.J.A. and J.N.F.

Dad peddled eggs in New York City to the boarders who had visited the farm. We had our own cows. Buba made her own pot cheese, butter and buttermilk.

I attended Yiddish school at the Toms River Community of Jewish Farmers. We had Chanukah plays in Yiddish.  My best friend was Leonard Baer.

When it came time to be Bar Mitzvah, I went to Lakewood with Arthur Maron to the Rebbe who prepared us. (Arthur is now a Doctor and has also been President of his synagogue.)

Summers were spent carrying pails of water to the chickens in the shelters. My hair was sandy colored and I was very dark tan from the sun. I truly had pine needles in my hair and sand in my toes from running around in the woods.

Jewish Community life seemed to be part of everyday living. Mother with Haddassah, Dad with the Cardoza Club, Buba with Pioneer Women and Zeide with Farband. People were always coming and going for all Jewish causes. Living at a boarding house, visiting speakers were invariably guests at the Friedman House.

As a teenager, we had a Community Center basketball team. Sammy Wexler was the coach. I belonged to the Episcopal Church Boy Scout Troop and did a lot of hiking and camping in the woods where Silver Ridge is now. We swam in the creek (the North branch on Route 70 before Route 70 was there).

At 16, I met Fran Solomon who made a lasting impression. After attending Rensselear Polytechnic Institute for 5 years, marrying Fran and working for G. E, it was back to Toms River in 1957. I became a member of the Congregation Board and President from 1969-1974.

There have been many changes in the last 43 years. Our four children are blessed with advantages provided by so many who have worked to improve the facilities and content of our Jewish Community.

In the 1930's, Toms River was a town where you not only knew all 2000 inhabitants, but you also knew their license plate numbers.

The Jewish Community changed from almost all poultry farmers to hardly any. Our village has become a city, and life, will never be the same.

Were the "good old days" better? They were good, today is better, and tomorrow, we hope will be best of all.

Zev Rosen