Wed., July 18th: GBHS program on Russian Jewish Immigrants

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Next week, on Wednesday, July 18th, local author Carol Ascher will present a program on the history of Russian Jewish immigrants in Sharon CT and Amenia NY from 1907 to 1940 at 7pm at the Claire Teague Senior Center, 917 South Main Street  (Route 7) in Great Barrington.

Ms Ascher will illustrate her talk with a slide show, rare and unusual photographs, and archival items. Her book on this subject, entitled A Chance for Land and Fresh Air, will be available for sale and signing after the talk.

She’ll talk about the courage, determination, and imaginative spirit of 30 Russian Jewish families who, arriving in America at the turn of the 20th century, soon purchased small farms in western Connecticut near the New York border.

This migration was made possible by Baron Maurice de Hirsch, a Belgian Jewish philanthropist,who established a generous fund that offered mortgages and other supports to Jews willing to try their hand at farming. Many of the original families supplemented their farm income by offering rooms and board to Jews living in New York for summer vacations. Around 1920, they began to move 10 miles west to Amenia, NY, on the train line, transforming the town into a lively Jewish resort for the next several decades.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 413-591-8702 or email us at