Laurie Lerner Phipps
Michael Lerner, his wife Ruth, and their daughters Susan and Laurie lived on their chicken farm in Hammonton, NJ. The farm was purchased with the assistance of the Baron de Hirsch Fund.
The following images, taken in the late 1950s through mid-1960s, are from the private photo collection of Laurie Lerner Phipps.
This photo is of Laurie near the farm’s rather ramshackle barn.
This is a photo (perhaps a passport photo) of Michael Lerner when he arrived as a refugee from Eastern Europe to the U.S.
Michael Lerner with baby Laurie on the farm in Hammonton.
Likely Susan standing where the unpaved road turns into the driveway of the farm.
Ruth Lerner hanging laundry near the cabin where a farm laborer lived. He was a Ukrainian refugee named Andrey Lucenko, and Michael Lerner went to the docks where ships with refugees came into port and employed him “fresh off the boat” to work on the farm. He lived with the Lerner family until his death in the early 1970s. When relations between the Soviet Union and the United States improved in the mid-1960s, the Lerners helped Andrey send packages to his wife who had stayed behind in the Soviet Union. Prior to Andrey moving into this cabin, he had lived in the Lerner’s farmhouse, and the cabin was occupied occasionally by temporary farm laborers.
Laurie near the newly-dug lake (or pond) on the farm property. When the Atlantic City Expressway was built, Michael Lerner sold landfill from the farm for the construction. The excavation of the landfill resulted in a lake on the property, where the family ice skated in winter; rowed a wooden rowboat and swam in summer.
Michael Lerner, Beatrice Cali (Ruth’s sister), Laurie Lerner, Ruth Lerner and Audrey Hitman, near the lake on the farm. Mrs. Hitman and her family owned the auto parts store in Hammonton. The Lerners, Hitmans, and several other Eastern European refugee farmers and local merchants were members of Temple Beth El, the local synagogue.