Boy in Woodbine NJ Baron Hirsch Farming Colony c. 1900 from Center for Jewish History
Check out the article from SLATE at the link below, on why Jews don’t farm. It is written by a descendent of an immigrant to the Baron Hirsch farming community in Woodbine, New Jersey. It is fun to read. But, contrary to his thesis, there were Jewish farming communities in Ukraine and Bessarabia and even Siberia. In fact before the assassination of Czar Alexander II in 1881, Jews were allowed, and often encouraged, to buy land and farm in Russia.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Baron Maurice de Hirsch, the builder of the Vienna-Constantinople Railroad, and his friends, sponsored the settlement of Eastern European Jews in many lands. They spent the equivalent of $2 billion in today’s dollars, working primarily in North and South America. See what sparked their efforts here
We present written works and visuals depicting the original immigrants and we relate the achievements of the descendants of these immigrants. And there are many achievements. Our forebears were courageous and ingenious people as are their grand and great-grandchildren.
We hope you will send us your stories and permission to publish them. Click here to contact us. And if you have a particular question about this immigration phenomenon, let us know. We will research the answer and write a post.
MORE ON BARON HIRSCH
For the whole story, read the official history of Baron Hirsch’s Jewish Colonization Association, An Outstretched Arm.
For information on Baron Hirsch’s work in the United States through the Jewish Agricultural Society see this post by Professor Emeritus of North Carolina State University, Gary Moore.
Here you can find over 50 different books on the life and work of Baron Hirsch.
Also, check out this short summary of Baron Hirsch’s work with Jewish farmers.
Here is a 1910 report from the U.S. Government on “Hebrews in Agriculture”. including many of Baron Hirsch’s projects.
Click here for a list of the archives worldwide of Baron Hirsch-related documents, including correspondence with individual immigrants.