July 1, 2003 | Issue 2

Square Eye for the Amish Guy

NEW SQUARE, NY — [TheKnish.com] Something strange is happening in the Monsey village of Square Town. Tourists. From far and wide. And they're raising quite a ruckus

The phenomenon began when an Amish couple from Lancaster, PA were looking for new farmland and a new community in New York, where taxes on milk - their chief export - were cheaper. They needed a quiet place, away from the beaten path, but accessible to tourists - they're second-best source of revenue.

Little did the Amish couple know there were being followed by a reporter who was curious about the Amish couple's use of electricity (the car). Shortly after the couple left Square Town, declaring it not optimal for their lifestyle, the reporter remained, and realized there was a lucrative business possibility by treated the New Square chasidim as a tourist attraction.

He wasted no money placing ads near Amish villages. Signs such as "Check out the Jewish Amish in New Amish in New Square New York" and "The Amish, With Curls!" were plastered all over lightposts in Pennsylvania.

Soon the tourists were flocking, the reporter was rich, and the New Square chasidim couldn't care less. Flashbulbs were going off in their face daily as they went about their daily lives. The tourists are now as much a part of New Square daily life as the Rebbe's constant mantra: Ignore them, and they'll go away.


Pencil Martin Bodek is short, dark, handsome, runs marathons (finishes them too!), can solve a Rubik's Cube in 1:47, is a big TED chasid, can whup your keister in Scrabble, loves halva, co-founded TheKnish.com, and writes books from 5-9: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom


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