First Jewish agricultural colony in U.S. celebrates anniversary

The first Jewish agricultural colony in the United States celebrated its 125th anniversary.

The Alliance Colony, in southern New Jersey near Vineland, was settled in 1882 by 43 Jewish families fleeing czarist Russia.

Funded by the Alliance Israelite Universelle Organization, the families purchased 14 tracts of farmland and began growing vegetables. They also established two synagogues, in 1882 and 1889.

More than 500 people attended Sunday’s celebration, which included a memorial service for the original settlers held at the colony’s cemetery. Some of the attendees were descendants of those first families, including several who grew up on the colony in the early 20th century.

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