14 2016

A Chance for Land and Fresh Air: Russian Jewish Immigrants Became Farmers

10:45AM - 12:00PM  

This Federation event will be held at Congregation Knesset Israel 16 Colt Road
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Contact Nancy Maurice Rogers
413-442-4360 x 15

The Jewish Federation Connecting with Community series presents "A Chance for Land and Fresh Air: Russian Jewish Immigrants Became Farmers 1907-1940."  Explore the history that began with the Russian pogroms in the 19th century that prompted the flight of hundreds of thousands of Jews, most of whom settled in New York City, with cultural anthropologist, author and guest curator of the Sharon Historical Society, Carol Ascher.

Conditions of Manhattan's Lower East Side, and the mortgage assistance provided by Baron de Hirsch's Jewish Agricultural and Industrial Aid Society, enabled the new immigrants to leave the city and purchase their own land, forbidden to Jews in Russia, and become farmers.

This program celebrates the Jewish families that settled in the Ellsworth Hills above Sharon, CT and in Amenia, NY.  They ran kosher boarding houses and small hotels and built their own Temple, Beth David.

An exhibit at Sharon Historical Society highlights half a dozen families whose descendants continue to live and farm in the area.  Marge Smith, Sharon Historical Society curator, has been instrumental in designing the exhibit.

This free program is part of the Federation’s Connecting With Community Series and will be followed by a kosher hot lunch. Lunch is a $2 suggested donation for adults over 60 years of age or $7 for all others. Advance reservations are required for lunch and can be made by calling (413) 442-2200 before 9 a.m. on the day of the program.