JEWISH AGRICULTURAL (and Industrial Aid) SOCIETY, organization chartered in New York in 1900 to provide East European immigrants with training "as free farmers on their own soil…" A subsidiary of the *Baron de Hirsch Fund, the society emphasized self-supporting agricultural activities, with rural industry to supplement farm incomes. Its *Industrial Removal Office, autonomous after 1907, relocated thousands of immigrant workers from the cities. Among the society's continued functions was the extension of loans on generous terms to farm cooperatives as well as individuals. It offered placement services and advice to potential agriculturists. A Yiddish and English-language monthly, The Jewish Farmer, was a vital channel of communication. While its extension specialists fostered agrarian innovations, the Bureau of Educational Activities stimulated cultural life, especially in the established rural communities of southern New Jersey and Connecticut. The society's officers included Eugene S. Benjamin, Cyrus L. Sulzberger, Jacob G. Lipman, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and Lewis L. Strauss. An early shift from group colonization to assisting individual enterprise became the basis of most of the society's operations. Its diversified programs for self-help, whether in New Jersey, New York, New England, or California, were extended to thousands of displaced persons in the post-World War II era.
G. Davidson, Our Jewish Farmers and the Story of the Jewish Agricultural Society (1943).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.