Life on a Toms River Chicken Farm

The Good, the Bad and the Worse

By Joyce Zelnick Weiss

This story was kindly shared by Joyce Zelnick Weiss. Another story of Growing up on a Chicken Farm in Toms River, by Joyce’s husband Ben Weiss can be found by clicking aquí.

Toms River, NJ, near the shore just south of Lakewood, 80 miles from Brooklyn

How did a little girl from the big city end up on a chicken farm in the middle of New Jersey?


I will try to tell you my story of living on a farm in the middle of nowhere. In the 1940s Toms River was much further from Brooklyn than it is now. Transportation was not readily available. We would ride on a bus for a few hours while passengers came and went at various stops in New Jersey. For those lucky enough to have a car it was a shorter trip.

BROOKLYN – TOMS RIVER

I was 9 years old when my father, Max, and mother, Bess, decided to move to Toms River. My father was a pharmacist who owned his own store in Brooklyn, N.Y. We lived on the top floor of a two-family house, and Bess’s parents lived downstairs. My parents were immigrants from Ukraine, and it was common to live close to the relatives and friends that one knew from the old country. So my comfort circle of people that I saw all the time were mostly all related to us.

We used to visit my Uncle Philip and Aunt Bertha in Toms River, New Jersey, on their chicken farm which they bought after selling their grocery business in Newark, N.J. Uncle Philip was one of my father’s older brothers, and he was married to Aunt Bertha.

I don’t know how my relatives ended up in Toms River, and I never did find out but, for reasons unknown to me, my parents decided that getting out of the city and moving to the country was a good decision for them and for their children. I don’t recall how long it took for us to pack up and move, but before I knew what was happening, we had moved.

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Una comunidad judía de agricultores de huevos - Toms River, NJ

welcome to toms river

cortesía de tomsriver.org

Esta es la historia de los granjeros judíos de Toms River que hicieron del condado de Ocean, Nueva Jersey, una capital productora de huevos. Era principios de la primavera de 1910. Sam Kaufman, dueño del bar más grande de Brooklyn, estaba preocupado por sus hijas enfermas. Sabía que tenía que sacarlos del aire rancio de la ciudad de Nueva York. Quizás podría comprar una granja. Pero los Catskills, donde miró por primera vez, carecían de escuelas y tenía cinco hijas que educar. Luego se enteró del río Toms, cerca del mar en el centro de Nueva Jersey. Estaba a solo 75 millas al sur de donde vivía en Brooklyn. NUEVA YORK. Toms River tenía tierras de cultivo a precios razonables, un ambiente de pueblo pequeño, solo 800 habitantes. Lo más importante, tenía una buena escuela secundaria.

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