When we began work on the Bildner Center’s digital exhibit “Jewish Agriculturalism in the Garden State” in early 2021, we understood that a large community of people would gather around this project. When the exhibit launched in October 2021, we asked the public to help tell this story by submitting materials from everyday life in the New Jersey farming communities. At the time, we did not know what to expect. Very quickly we received many enthusiastic responses from passionate and excited New Jerseyans, who wanted to share their families’ stories. We received materials from people who were part of the Jewish farming network in New Jersey after the Second World War, from authors, archivists and researchers invested in this history and from people with childhood memories from life on the farms. Members of the community graciously reached out to us, ready to offer their photos, letters, documents and memories. We greatly value that outpouring of support and pride.
As we launch this Community Contributions section of the digital exhibit, it is our hope that these materials add a deeper layer to the rich past of Jewish agriculturalism in New Jersey. The submissions in this section have been categorized by contributors, each with their own page. Simply click on a name and see what they have to share. All items contained in the Community Contributions section of the online exhibit are the sole property of the contributors or an organization with which they are associated. Some descriptions have been edited for length and clarity.
It has been a pleasure learning about your family histories and stories. Thank you and enjoy this unique and fascinating crowd-sourced collection!