Our travels across Western Pennsylvania took us along the coast of gorgeous Lake Erie; making our way south to many shtetlach (Yiddish for small towns) with little or no Jewish infrastructure.

Rolling into Monroeville, Pennsylvania, we scouted out the land to see where we were most likely to make contact with local Jews.

Pulling up at the only address we had received from last year's visitors, we parked the car and discovered that our GPS had mislead us and the house we were looking for was a block or two farther up the road. In much need of the exercise after the long drive, we decide to walk rather than get back into the car.

On the way up, we ran into (figuratively speaking) a nice looking couple going for an afternoon jog. After politely interrupting their jog with a casual good afternoon and a wave, we proceed to ask them if they happened to know any Jewish people living in the area. "Sure, there are families here, there and there" they pointed to the three houses closest to us. "There's also Mike at the end of the block, and the family across the street from him is also Jewish." In response to our thanks they replied "Well we know them all because we are Jewish ourselves."

We asked him "Have you ever put on Tefillin before?"

He replied "Nope, I know what they are but I never actually put them on…"

We asked "How 'bout a quick Bar Mitzvah right here?"

His wife replied "your grandfather used to do it every day!"

And that is how Monroeville had its first outdoor Bar Mitzvah (we think).