Jewish Farming Before Urban Adamah Made It Trendy

In sympathy with the plight of Rachel Calof and family that we read in harrowing detail this week, I wondered what, if any, institutional support existed for Jewish farmers prior to World War II.

I found a feature in Tablet magazine on the Jewish Agricultural Society,  an organization founded in New York in 1900 by a German Jewish philanthropist, Baron Maurice de Hirsch


De Hirsch apparently devoted a large part of his fortune to helping Eastern European Jews escape anti-Semitism in their home countries and settle on American pastures, far away from the cities’ tenements. The society provided loans for purchasing land, seeds, and equipment and offered practical education to the settlers, many of whom had minimal prior experience as farmers. (As we read this week.)  It even published a magazine in Yiddish and English called The Jewish Farmer.  See above. Though it concentrated its efforts in the New York area, it apparently was also influential in help place farmers on established farms throughout the country, including the Dakotas.


Jon Stewart on 19th century immigration

One of the Jewy-er (and that’s saying something) clips from the Daily Show on the immigrant experience in America. The whole clip is amazing, but this is posted particularly for the section from minute 4:06 on. 

Too good not to post...

Bernie Sanders is the first Jewish candidate to win a presidential primary. What? It only took 362 years. Way to go New Hampshire!

a short film about Jews of New York


A short film about the immigration to New York. Some comments on the page are a bit annoying to read, but they paint a picture about the way others may see us.

NCJW Pamphlet Greets Immigrant Women on the Docks of Ellis Island

The National Council of Jewish Women (established 1893) distributed these pamphlets, containing Hebrew, Yiddish and English, to vulnerable immigrant women arriving in Ellis Island. I am struck by the pamphlet wording- and the promise that the COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN will find out the truth for you. I wonder how I might feel as a woman at the docks, receiving this cryptic warning, and whether I'd be encouraged by this pamphlet to visit if in need.

Immigration Numbers by Graph

Here is a visualization of the Jewish immigration Numbers based on Dr. Hochman's earlier post and the similar table found in the 3rd edition of Jew in the Modern World, p. 532.
1. Jewish vs. Total Immigration
2. Jewish immigration numbers
3. Jewish immigration as a percentage of total
-- note the spikes and valleys and think about the wars, world events, or immigration policies enacted around these events: 1906 was the peak immigration year; WWI; WWII; Immigration act of 1924.
--Can you think of some other possible causes that might explain movements in the graphs?