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Politics in New Jersey’s Jewish Colonies



Click below to hear a podcast, Solidarity in Diaspora: Jewish Agrarian Life and Conflict in 20th Century New Jersey, produced in 2021 by a student at Rutgers University, E. Kramer. The podcast explores Jewish farming communities in New Jersey and political controversies they sparked. Among other historical sources, Kramer explored oral histories held at the Rutgers Oral History Archives and documents at the Rutgers Special Collections and Archives.



Featured in Kramer’s research is the story of Dr. Max Horlick, longtime resident of South Brunswick Township in New Jersey. His family arrived at Ellis Island between 1905 and 1912 with no money whatsoever and began farming life in America. He describes his early life as one akin to Abraham Lincoln’s, one without electricity, running water, insulation or air condition. Below are some excerpts of his oral history.
In this first clip, Dr. Horlick describes how he and his family shopped for food, preserved crops for winter and accessed fresh water.


In this next clip, we learn about Dr. Horlick’s father’s efforts to develop The Central Jersey Farmers’ Cooperative.


This interview was conducted by Dr. Sean Illingworth, Director of the Rutgers Oral History Archives on October 30, 2009, in Silver Spring, Maryland.


read the full transcript