Southern Brazilian Jewish Farmers Tell Their Stories

Israelitas no Rio Grande do Sul

This post gives a description of the novels and memoirs left to us by Brazilian Jewish Colonization Association colonists. They offer fascinating portrayals of Jewish immigrant life. The post includes visuals, links to more information and a list of references, including how to find both the original and secondary works  in libraries worldwide.
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Brazilian Jewish Farming Communities


Entrance to the Quatro Irmaos Farming Community Cemetery

This post contains a short history of the Brazilian communities and some references. Baron Hirsch established the Jewish Colonization Agency (JCA) in 1891 to “to assist and promote the emigration of Jews from any part of Europe or Asia… and to form and establish colonies in various parts of North and South America ….”. And during his lifetime the Agency supported farming communities for Eastern European Jewish immigrants in Argentina and Canada.

But after the Baron’s death in 1896, the new directors of the JCA decided to establish additional communiities in the extreme South of Brazil, near the city of Santa Maria in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. Continue reading

From Novo Russia to Jewish Farmers in Brazil

The owner of this blog, me, Merrie Blocker, a semiretired U.S. diplomat is  translating Uma Clara Manha de Abril (On a Clear April Morning), the story of southern Ukrainian Jews in the extreme south of Brazil. After originally being settled by the Czars on lands in the Ukraine that were captured by the Russians from the Ottoman Empire, these Jews emigrated to farms in  Brazil with the help of the Jewish Colonization Association which was founded by Baron Hirsch.

For lots of information on this intriguing historical moment, click on On a Clear April Morning AFTERWORD with notes and references  to download the twelve page historical afterword I wrote to accompany the translation. It includes a lengthy bibliography of books, articles and archival records with works in English, Portuguese and French.