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The Jewish Chicken Farmers of Petaluma: Why Remember?

Part 2 by Kenneth Kann To read Part 1, click here.   I CONDUCTED hundreds more interviews in the years ahead: the children of the immigrants, the grandchildren, and the new suburban settlers who inherited the community. The immigrant children were the generation of my own American-born parents. Here was an assimilation drama. They grew up […]

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The Jewish Chicken Farmers of Petaluma: Why Remember?

Part One by Kenneth Kann   FIRST, ASTONISHMENT. Then outrage. Mine. I was viewing “California Dreaming,” a 2013 exhibit on Bay Area Jewish history at San Francisco’s eminent Contemporary Jewish Museum. The exhibit included the story of an extraordinary Jewish chicken ranching community in Petaluma, thirty-five miles north of San Francisco. This museum exhibit was false: […]

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April 21: Baron de Hirsch

Baron Maurice de Hirsch, the German Jewish philanthropist who, before the Zionist movement was launched, took great interest in turning the Jews into an agricultural people, died at 65 on this date in 1896. Baron de Hirsch was the founder and funder of the Jewish Colonization Association, which brought thousands of mostly impoverished Jews from […]

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Great Fears, Great Hopes: A Jewish Agricultural Settlement in 19th Century Oregon

by Karen Karin Rosenberg Discussed in this essay: Stepmother Russia, Foster Mother America: Identity Transitions in the New Odessa Jewish Commune, Odessa, Oregon, New York, 1881-1891, by Theodore Friedgut, and Recollections of a Communist by Israel Mandelkern, introduced and annotated by Theodore H. Friedgut. Both in one volume, Academic Studies Press, 2014, 199 pages. ZIONIST […]

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January 20: The Federation of Jewish Farmers

The Federation of Jewish Farmers was organized in New York City on this date in 1909. It was a federation of thirteen organizations (Connecticut farmers constituted the largest group) that grew to thirty-five within two years. According to the Jewish Women’s Archive, the organization held an agricultural fair in its first years during the week […]

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