Morris Tessler and his prize horses 1930's
Morris Cohen and family on their
Kerhonkson farm, 1933
Jewish immigrants seeking to farm had a powerful advocate in
Baron Maurice de Hirsh. Hirsh used his fortune to help Jews flee urban
poverty by settling them on farms across the US and Canada.
Jewish Agricultural Society and The Jewish Farmer, a Yiddish paper, were
Hirsh projects, The JAS helped locate, and purchase farms, provide training
in agricultural practices, sanitation, English language... it also helped
farmers attain the necessities of a Jewish community in the wilderness
including synagogues, mikvahs, and teachers for religious instruction.
Their work was so extensive in this area, that JAS opened an office in Ellenville
in 1920. Chartered in New York in 1900, its mission was to provide Eastern
European immigrants with the training to be
" free farmers on their own soil…"