Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Historical Society Presents: A Life of the Land: Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers

From Deborah Shapiro, Executive Director Middlesex County Historical Society

In the 1880’s, thousands of Eastern European Jews began fleeing the pogroms that resulted in death and the destruction of property. Many arrived on America’s shores with little more than the contents of a small trunk. The Jewish Agricultural Society in New York began an effort to settle some of the new immigrants on farms in Connecticut. One area the society chose was centered around Colchester, Lebanon, and Montville. The story of these families and how they owned, worked the farms for generations, and developed the resorts of Moodus will be the subject of a talk given by Mary Donohue, the co-author (along with Briann Greenfield) of A Life of the Land: Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers on Tuesday, January 31 at 7 pm. at Congregation Adath Israel, 8 Broad Street. The evening, which is sponsored by the Middlesex County Historical Society in conjunction with the Adult Education Committee of the synagogue, will include a book signing by the author.

Mary Donohue is the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer for Grants and Senior Architectural Historian for the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development and has had a 30-year career in historic preservation. Under her leadership, surveys were completed for town greens, municipal parks, and outdoor sculpture, and she oversees the state’s historic preservation grant programs. Ms. Donohue is an award-winning author and a frequent contributor to “Connecticut Explored” magazine.

Following the talk, participants will also be able to view the museum at Congregation Adath Israel, one of the largest and most comprehensive displays of Judaica in the state. The program is free and open to the public. The synagogue is handicapped accessible and parking is available on Old Church Street along the South Green. For further information, call the Historical Society at 860-346-0746.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looks fascinating. I worked in Colchester for 7 years and I visited the beautiful old synagogue there and got a history lesson from one of the local business owners who gave me a history that he had written up himself about this. It's a very interesting piece of Connecticut history.