Jewish Farmers of the Catskills: A Century of Survival (Relativism; 3)

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9780813013435: Jewish Farmers of the Catskills: A Century of Survival (Relativism; 3)

For almost a century, the largest concentration of Jewish farmers outside of Russia or Israel survived as a community in upstate New York, prospering on land that others in the area essentially had abandoned.

 Using archival records that date to the nineteenth century and extensive interviews with the farm families and others, Abe Lavender and Clarence Steinberg tell the story of immigrants from Eastern Europe and New York's Lower East Side who came together in the Catskill Mountains with dreams, ambitions, and fortitude to forge a common culture.
 

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Book Description:

"A portrait of Jewish farming in the Catskills that is both elegant and insightful."--Abraham Peck, administrative director, American Jewish Archives

"A seamlessly told story . . . strongly buttressed by hardcore, documented historical research and in-depth interviews."--Murray Binderman, University of Alabama


For almost a century, the largest concentration of Jewish farmers outside of Russia or Israel survived as a community in upstate New York, prospering on land that others in the area essentially had abandoned.

Using archival records that date to the nineteenth century and extensive interviews with the farm families and others, Abe Lavender and Clarence Steinberg tell the story of immigrants from Eastern Europe and New York's Lower East Side who came together in the Catskill Mountains with dreams, ambitions, and fortitude to forge a common culture.

 To secure their poultry, dairy, and vegetable farms, they established cooperative organizations to market milk, mill feed, and provide fire insurance.  They introduced new production methods, and some developed the legendary large summer resorts such as Grossinger's and the Nevele. They overcame anti-Semitism and the economic hardship of the Great Depression, and some were principals in a revolution in agricultural marketing and technology.  And, just about the time the Woodstock cultural revolution took place on Max Yasgur's dairy farm, they succumbed to changing times.

 Illustrated with 80 rare photographs, some dating to the 1920s, Jewish Farmers of the Catskills preserves their singular history.

 

About the Author:

Abraham D. Lavender is associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Florida International University.  He is the author of French Huguenots:  From Mediterranean Catholics to White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, which received the 1990 National Book Award of the National Huguenot Society; Ethnic Women and Feminist Values:  Toward a New Value System; and A Coat of Many Colors:  Jewish Subcommunities in the United States.
Clarence B. Steinberg, formerly at the University of Maryland, is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Department of Agriculture in Washington.  He was raised on his parents' farm in the Catskills and has personal knowledge of much of the history described in Jewish Farmers of the Catskills.

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