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View of the Growing American exhibit with informational panels

About Us

Mission

Preserving the History~Sharing the Stories

In 1882, 43 Jewish families arrived in Pittsgrove Township, Salem County, New Jersey. These Jewish immigrants were fleeing persecution and violence in Russia. They settled in southern New Jersey to create a new life based in agriculture. Overcoming many challenges, they developed the first successful Jewish farming community in the United States.

The Alliance Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving the history of the Alliance Colony and telling the stories of the families who lived there. As we continue to grow, we remain amazed at the narratives of the early settlers  and their descendants. Through our digital museum, Stockton University's Special Collections, local outreach, and community programming, we are working to make this history available to an increasingly broad audience.

Our plans for the future are ambitious. We envision this digital museum as an interactive learning tool for local schools and as a valuable research resource for historical societies, academics, and community members. Our expanding efforts will preserve and make available artifacts, historical photographs, and other archival material. Our digital museum will continue to create dynamic online content using the latest technologies to curate virtual exhibits and bring the past to life. We also plan to create an expansive and searchable online archive of oral history interviews.

 

We believe our new digital museum will become a widely-known center as we work to preserve and promote historical and cultural information about Alliance, its surrounding communities, and the history of Jewish farming in the Garden State.

Cover of the Alliance Heritage Center Annual Report, 2019-2020

Click here to view our 2019-2020 annual report (2021-2022 is in the works).

Click here to see the Alliance Heritage Center’s Stockton University website.

Raphael Crystal, Zeda bringing water to calf. The family homestead is in the background, 1928

History

The Alliance Heritage Center of Stockton University opened in fall of 2019. We have been working on various projects, which you can learn more about throughout this website. The center continues to work with student interns, graduate assistants, and fellows who work with us to research and organize our archives, edit and conduct oral history interviews, create community programming, and more.

Keep your eye on this site. We will be sharing new programming, research initiatives, community outreach, publications, and more with you. We're excited to launch our new digital museum and continue to grow our programming!

Raphael Crystal, Zeda, bringing water to a calf. The family homestead is in the background, 1928

Thanks to our past and present interns and research assistants!

  • Cynthia Anstey

  • Sara Brown

  • Kelly Burns

  • Mallory Caignon

  • Jessica Chamberlain

  • Patty Chappine (Rudnick Fellow)

  • Chelsea Dubois

  • Ray Dudo

  • Jonah Fried (McGill University)

  • Ashley Grubb

  • Sarah Hanlon

  • Mohammad Hasan (Graduate Assistant)

  • Leah Hawthorne

  • Ethan Jardim

  • Alondra Johnson (Graduate Assistant)

  • Haylee Korbobo

  • Aurora Rose Landman

  • Ariana Negron

  • Claire Riley

  • Kat Wentzel

Alliance baby portrait

Can you help us identify this baby?

This is a portrait of a child born in Alliance, 1885, with an inscription on the back. The first portion of handwriting is difficult to read. Does it say "Motyz. 2/1885" or "Mo yr. 2 / 1885"?

Please take a good look and let us know if you have any leads.

 

Thank you! Email us here.

Alliance baby portrait inscription

Our friends at Murphy Writing of Stockton University offer unique writing workshops and events throughout the year. View their upcoming programs here.

The Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway will be held at the Seaview in Galloway from January 13-16, 2023. See their full list of workshops including several nonfiction and memoir writing options. Learn more and register!

 

Find out how to support their programming here and view partnership opportunities.

Murphy Writing Banner

The physical holdings of the Alliance Heritage Center (along with many other interesting local history collections) are housed in Stockton University's Special Collections. Browse their website here and take a look at their special collections for Jewish Studies section here.

Appointments to research the physical collections can be made by contacting Heather Perez or by following this link.

Colorful Books

The Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center's
South Jersey Holocaust Survivors Project

Our friends at the Holocaust Resource Center of Stockton University are working to preserve and chronicle the stories of local Holocaust survivors. View their ever-growing project by clicking on the banner below. Find out how to support their efforts here.

Survivors of South Jersey Banner
Old Books

Help us Build our Collection

The Alliance Heritage Center is always eager to expand our digital and onsite collections. If you have materials related to South Jersey farming communities that you'd like to have digitized, we will handle them with care and return your materials promptly with digital copies. If you have physical materials that you are considering donating, we'll gladly preserve them. We'd love to hear from you.

We're also interested in collecting oral history interviews from members of Alliance and neighboring communities.

Abe and Martha Crystal, 1953, Stavitsky collection.tif
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