Between vision and reality: Reassessing Jewish agricultural colony projects in nineteenth century America

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Abstract

This article reassesses the story of agricultural colonies established by Jews, for Jews, in the USA during the nineteenth century. Well established Jews developed schemes to settle recent Jewish immigrants on the soil. These schemes were characterized by unrealistic expectations, bad planning, and, when implemented, frequent failures. Yet, Jewish agricultural colonies must be distinguished from Christian, proto-Socialist or other utopian projects. The sponsors of Jewish colonies in the USA did not strive for separation from general society. Rather, they sought to assist Jewish integration through settlement on the land. The conceptual framework of Jewish productivization in America closely echoed the discourse of emancipation in Central Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-324
Number of pages20
JournalJewish History
Volume21
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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