Morris Tessler and his prize horses 1930's
Morris Cohen and family on their
Kerhonkson farm, 1933
Baron Maurice de Hirsch
Peter Kaplan, poultry breeder
Jewish immigrants seeking to farm had a powerful advocate in
Baron Maurice de Hirsch. Hirsch used his fortune to help Jews flee urban poverty by settling them on farms across the US and Canada. The Jewish Agricultural Society and The Jewish Farmer, a Yiddish paper, were Hirsch 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.
Settlement 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…".