Gayle Ann Weinstein
Writer: Novel/Novella Memoir Short Story


Summary for Shayndel: A Memoir

(The total word count is about 14,250 words. Double spaced manuscript is about 45 pages.)

Shayndel is a recorded oral history of my paternal grandparents as told to me by my grandmother, Jean (Shayndel Symon) Weinstein, in the early 1980s. The seven stories span from the 1880s in Poland and Russia to Chicago, Illinois in the 1920s: “Go Check on Gramma, my father said.”, the story of how my great grandmother, who was a butcher, found a husband after being engaged five times; “Shayndel,” the story of how my grandmother came to America and lived and worked in various places, always being offered propositions and proposals by her bosses; “Shlomo  The Clerk,” my grandfather’s narrow and clever escape from the Russian army after being hired as a clerk to a very important general; “Sam The Entrepreneur,” my grandfather’s rise from button salesman, paying $3 a week for the corner of a tailor’s shop, to the successful owner of a large clothing factory in spite of anti-Semitism; “The Bachelor,” how my grandfather, after being engaged and disappointed three times with American girls, decided he would marry a greenhorn; “Meet Me On The Corner,” how my grandfather and grandmother met and negotiated their decision to marry; and, finally, “I Am Mrs. Veinshtein,” the ways my grandparents impacted each other’s lives after they were married.

The World of Our Mothers: The Lives of Jewish Immigrant Women by Sydney Stahl Weinberg

World of Our Fathers by Irving Howe

There Once Was A World: A 900-Year Chronicle of The Shtetl of Eishyshok by Yaffa Eliach

And I Still See Their Faces: Images of Polish Jews by Fundacja Shalom, Photos by Zydow polskich 

Life Is With People: The Culture of the Shtetl by Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog

Daughters of the Shtetl: Life and Labor in the Immigrant Generation by Susan A. Glenn

Russia: Tales and Legends Retold by Charles Downing

Russian and Polish Women’s Fiction translated and edited by Helena Goscilo 

Poland’s Jewish Heritage by Joram Kagan

How I Found America by Anzia Yezierska

The Land That I Show You by Stanley Feldstein

A History of Jewish Life by Milton Meltzer

Chicago’s Maxwell Street by Laurie Grove and Laura Kamedulski

The Jewish World of Yesterday by Rachel Salamander

Line Five: The Internal Passport (Jewish Family Odysseys From The USSR to USA) Editors, Elaine 

         Pomper Snyderman and Margaret Thomas Witkovsky

Ellis Island & Other Stories by Mark Helprin (fiction)

Chagall: Burning Lights, text by Bella Chagall, drawings  by Marc Chagall

The Russian Jewry Reader by Evan R. Chesler

How We Lived by Irving Howe and Kenneth Libo

The Shadow of the Winter Palace by Edward Crankshaw

Related references for the memoir-in-progress Shayndel  

(excerpted stories, “Meet Me On the Corner” and “Go Check on Gramma," my father said.)


Newlyweds Jean and Sam Weinstein, about 1924

Shlomo H. Weinstein as officer in Russian army, about 19 years old

Shlomo Weinstein standing on left