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We came to the Lakewood - Toms River Area to become poultry farmers in 1941. The economic conditions in New York at that time were such that many people were forced to look for new means of earning a livelihood.  We chose to try our hand at farming.

Life on the farm was hard. It meant working seven days a week from early morning until late at night. We had to pump water for the chickens and for the house by hand. We had to use coal and wood for heating and cooking.

Those were times of hard work. But the hard work was satisfying because we came to the farm with dreams of building a better life for ourselves without worries for the future.

The beauty of our natural surroundings and landscape gave us strength and courage to continue with the hard  work. Our very friendly neighbors helped  us with  work  and advice.

A great deal of help came from the credit union and the buying and selling cooperatives that were started by poultrymen who had established themselves in the 1920's and 1930's.

The Toms River Jewish Farmers Community Center, as it was known then, became the home of the Jewish farmers. It filled the religious, cultural and social  needs  of  the Jewish Farmers. They brought their joys and sorrows to the Center and shared them with their friends and neighbor.

In the late 1950's and early 1960's, the poultry industry, as we knew it would, began to go downhill. The small farmers were squeezed out by the manipulations of the big cooperatives. From then on, low prices for eggs and high prices for feed became the rule instead of the exemption. Many small farmers lost their farms. The only way to hold on was by the wife and children operating the farm and the husband going out to work off the farm to augment their income.

Before we left Toms River, many of the green fields and woods were turned into housing developments where city folks settled and turned Toms River into a big city. We prefer to remember Toms River as it was years ago, instead of as it is today.

We want to wish the present leadership of the Toms River Jewish Community Center, success in their efforts to keep the organization alive and build a healthy Jewish life in the area.

Nathan and Fannie Steinberg