PermalinkPosted: August 27, 2010Comments: 3A Jewish agricultural colony named Carmel was established on this date in 1891 in New Jersey by Baron Maurice de Hirsch’s Jewish Colonization Association of Paris. By 1900, eighty-nine Jewish families lived there, with nineteen surviving exclusively through farming. The first such Jewish agricultural settlement in America had been established in Wawarsing, New York in 1837 by thirteen families from New York City; it lasted only five years. Other settlements were attempted in Louisiana, Michigan, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia, and Connecticut, mostly in the 1880s and 1890s. Few met with any lasting success. The patron of these American “kibbutzim,” Baron Maurice de Hirsch, was the scion of the first Jewish landowner in Bavaria and a key supporter of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. His Jewish Colonization Association had large agricultural enterprises in Argentina, Canada and Palestine and sought to give persecuted Jews of the Russian Empire a chance to emigrate and find economic rehabilitation.
“I consider it the greatest problem in philanthropy to make human beings who are capable of work out of individuals who otherwise must become paupers . . .” –Maurice de Hirsch
Tags: American Jewish history, Baron