Sneak Peek: Jew in Jail by Gary Goldstein

Today we have a sneak peek from Gary Goldstein’s book, Jew in Jail:

JEW IN JAIL is the true story of the nearly six years that I spent incarcerated in various correctional facilities throughout the state of New York. It deals with my attempts at recovery from past addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling, as well as my efforts to turn my life around in hopes of becoming a solid citizen and successful member of society upon my release. In addition, my book also provides insight into how I, as a minority in prison, was forced to fend for myself against all of the mistreatment at the hands of the powers that be from the Department Of Correctional Services in this “world within the real world,” as well as the daily grind of doing time with hardened criminals, many of whom I felt no close connection to, all the while continuing to fight for the true justice I strongly felt I wasn’t afforded during my lower court proceedings. 

Jew in Jail is available in print and for Kindle on

And now, from Jew in Jail:

I continued to walk down First Avenue, this time oblivious to everything else around me, until I found another dry cleaning store that I felt could provide me with another success story. I stumbled (literally) onto a small mom-and-pop operation and went inside. There, I found the cutest little old Chinese man and woman going about their business, and by now, after having accomplished two robberies with relative ease, I felt like a seasoned pro on top of his game. So, again I went through my shtick of asking the price to clean and press my pants, but this time, I couldn’t wait. I immediately displayed the (toy) gun in my waistband and demanded the cash. Appearing frightened out of his wits, the elderly gentleman placed the cigar box he and his wife used as a cash register on top of the counter while his wife remained behind her husband for protection, and like a little kid rifling through the cookie jar, I grabbed its contents and fled.

Not knowing exactly how much money I had accumulated, I said to myself that three robberies were enough. But I wasn’t ready to head home just yet. Not until I had another beer or two. This was another of the many mistakes I made that day.

I began walking again until I came upon a little delicatessen that sold beer, not even grasping the fact that I had just committed three “armed” robberies, and that the police were probably hot on my trail at that very moment. But, hey, I earned this break for myself. I justified. I had just worked up quite a thirst, pulling off three robberies in the previous thirty minutes.

I went into the deli and grabbed an ice cold Heineken from out of the freezer and asked the owner what the price was, like any good Jew would have done. Then I walked out and proceeded to drink my beer as I leisurely strolled down the street. After downing it in no time flat and letting out a healthy belch, I remember saying to myself that one more cold one was in order before heading home. After all, my mission had been accomplished, and I was now hungry and tired. So I looked for another deli, all the while not caring one iota about the lowlife things I had just done to these innocent and hardworking shopkeepers.

It being Manhattan, there were many delis to choose from, and I decided to cut over to Second Avenue for a change of scenery. I found a store to my liking near the strip club Scores on 60th Street and took the Heineken out of the freezer and over to the counter. When the woman who worked there told me that I owed her two-seventy-five, I became enraged. “I just paid one-fifty two blocks away,” I shouted, as a small crowd began to form at the counter. After getting nowhere with my efforts at haggling, I paid her “extortion money” and walked out, slamming the door behind me.


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