Shtetl/shtetlekh (pl) were villages in Eastern Europe where Jews lived, loved, worked, worshiped, studied, sang andcelebrated for centuries. The wordshtetl means ‘little city’ in Yiddish, though they varied in size and population.
Despite the fact that shtetl dwellers were often poor and lived modestly, these bustling communities were rich in soul, spirit and culture.
Tragically, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, inhabitants of these vibrant villages suffered frequent antisemitic pogroms and persecution and ultimately complete devastation during the Holocaust. While this relegated shtetlekh to a collective memory,they have been kept alive through tradition and depicted famously in works of art including the paintings of Marc Chagall and on screen in films like Fiddler on the Roof, Yentl and recently An American Pickle.
Many American Jews are descendants of these lost communities. Here at Shtettl, we’ve chosen to celebrate our Eastern European Jewish roots by embracing the term. We are proud to wear our spirit on our sleeves and celebrate a shared cultural expression. For us, these old world villages conjure a sense of community built on deep integrity, respect for love of life and an unbreakable boldness of spirit. Put simply, we’re inspired by the shtetls of yesterday and hope you will be too.
Why the extra ‘t”?:
We’ve added an extra “t” to the already bungled English spelling of the word shtetl to preserve the authenticity of the original nomenclature and its associated historical meaning, while signaling the addition of new generations which continue to live and thrive. We honor the past as we build the future. We open the doors of Shtettl to welcome you, whomever you are, from wherever you hail to join us.
Welcome to the Shtettl!
Shtettl is a family-owned business; its founders proudly live a life immersed in Jewish culture and tradition.