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It was a pleasant surprise to receive a letter from the Council of Jewish Organizations who are sponsoring a Jewish History Week.

After being away from Toms River for ten years, it is difficult to recall the many events that rotated around the community.  I Wish I had kept a log of the events and the growth of all the organizations that met in the community.

However, I am aware that many years before we came to the area such families as the Krushinskys', Novins',  Wexlers,  Newtons',  Dardicks',  Baers',  Kassenoffs,' Rosenkrantzs', Belyers', Breslaws' and Pincus' were already giving their support to the community.

When Ben and  I decided to sell our retail business in Brooklyn, NY, Ben had spent a weekend with the Polishuks on their farm on Old Freehold Road and was so enthused with living in the country not too far away from New York. We wanted a quieter life than the hassle of city life. This was the latter part of 1941. We were also encouraged to make the move by our friends, Hannah and Lou Wallach. We purchased the old Reutter farm on Todd Road and our nearest neighbors, the M. Meyers, the Weiss family and the Shenkins', made us feel at home as soon as we got settled. It was hard work in those days to build up a capacity of chickens . After three and a half years on Todd Road, we bought Julius Zwickel's farm on Bay Avenue.

It Is gratifying to see that the Religious Group is still existing and Ben and I were always part of this group. Also it is still under the leadership of Jack Fleischman, with the help of Mrs. Norma Zwickel, and a good many of the old-timers.

I also wish to mention that a credit union was organized, especially helpful to the farmers in the area, under the capable leadership of Mr. Belyer, Jack Goldstein, Irwin Kramer, M. Rosenkrantz, Hannah Sherry and many more. Ben also served for several years as a president of this credit union.

My recollection of the Ladies' Auxiliary in the 40's and 50's was the great job some of the members were doing. Among the very many were Ida Dardich, Hilda Baer, Hannah Wallach, Lillian Krushinsky, Pearl Zeitz, Ethel Novins, Evelyn Weiss, Sophie Meyers, Lillian Whynman, Josephine Feldman, Greta Friedman,  Ida Cherry,  Frances  Kramer, Ann Hecker, Ann Cohen, Helen Oliver, Jean Kassenoff. Most of the women served as presidents , some as other officers, but all were hard workers for the Auxiliary. I, too, held offices and was president for several years.

I recall an outstanding event; a bazaar sponsored by the various Jewish organizations, namely, The Pioneer Women, Hadassah, Emma Lazarus Club, Ladies' Auxiliary and the Community Center. This affair was a huge success, both financially and socially. In those days everyone was like one big family and all the social  life rotated around the Community Center.

Very  interesting  book  reviews were  given  by  Mr. Aaron  Pincus, who  also  served  as Recording Secretary for a great many years, and his reports were always rendered in Yiddish . The Jewish National Fund and the U.J.A. appeal evenings were held yearly In the Community Center under the capable leadership of Mr. and Mrs. N. Breslau, assisted by Bob Novins, Jack Fleischman , Jack Baer, Irving Kantor, and many other fine members of the Community. A large number of Community members who worked on these projects were honored with presentations of plaques  and  Golden  Book Certificates. Many fine artists and concerts were arranged for these evenings. We too, were presented with a J.N.F. Golden Book Certificate by the Community and we prize it most highly.

Another wonderful  organization was created and should not go unnoticed; the Leonard Baer Day Camp and Pool. This was made possible by Hannah Sherry, Mildred Robinson, Bea Epstein, Rose Fleischman, Lillian Whynman,  Mesdames  Pushkin, Bobroff, and many others who helped with the Camp every summer.

The Ehrmann family have always been community minded and we take this opportunity to congratulate Hans Ehrmann, the newly installed President, and his officers and wish them a very successful term.  I wish to comment on the fine bulletins now being sent by the Community Center. We find them very interesting and informative on the events taking place.

When we visited Toms River four years ago we noted a change in the Pleasant Plains and surrounding area with the growth of schools, residential neighborhoods, etc. Progress must go on, but there is a certain nostalgia for the loss of "country" to a larger city. The friendships that existed in the old days among the farmers and professional people one can only have in a small community. We made many friends with whom we still keep in touch since we left the area.

We trust that the new families who have moved  to the Toms River area and  have become members of the Community Center will help to carry on the good work.

If I have left out a good many names of the old timers , it was not done intentionally.

In closing, I wish to say, were I closer to you all today , I would, if possible, still try to help in any way. Hopefully, we look forward to visiting our many friends and neighbors in the near future.

Sincere greetings to all.

Kitty and Benjamin Leichtling