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Annotated Bibliography

Ard, Patricia M. and Michael Aaron Rockland. The Jews of New Jersey: A Pictorial History (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2002). F145.J5 A74 2002 [Find in a library near you]


A historical sketch of the Jewish communities of New Jersey with photographs from throughout the state.  Chapters are divided by subject and include: 1. Immigration and Early Jewish Settlers, 2. Newark, 3. Paterson, Trenton, and Camden, 4. To the Suburbs, 5. Jews on the Farm, 6. Roosevelt, 7. Jews at the Shore, 8. Celebration and Education, 9. Antisemitism, 10. The Holocaust and its Aftermath, and 11. The Continuity of New Jersey Jewish Life.

Avery-Quinn, Samuel. “‘The Greatest Agricultural Colony on Earth’: Landscape and Community Development of the Estelle Colony, Atlantic County, New Jersey, 1895–1910” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 85.4 (2018): 488–529.


This article focuses on the early struggles of immigrants in Estelle, New Jersey.


Bayuk Rappoport Purmell, Bluma, and Felice Lewis Rovner. A Farmer’s Daughter: Bluma (Los Angeles, CA: Hayvenhurst Publishers, 1981). F145 .J5 P87 1981. [Find in a library near you]


An autobiography co-written by Bluma Bayuk Rappoport Purmell and originally published by her nephew Marc Bayuk. Born on March 15, 1888, Bluma grew up in the Alliance Colony, Salem County, New Jersey. Her father, Moses Bayuk, was one of the original settlers. An Alliance Heritage Center edition of this book is forthcoming. More information about Bluma, including a finding aid to archival material held in Stockton University’s Special Collections, can be found here.


Blumenthal, Helen E. "New Odessa Colony of Oregon, 1882-1886." Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 14 (July 1982): 321-22.


New Jersey was not the only state where Jewish immigrants fleeing Russian pogroms settled to build farming communities. Other agricultural colonies were created elsewhere. This article details the founding of New Odessa in Oregon.


Brinkmann, Tobias. “Between Vision and Reality: Reassessing Jewish Agricultural Colony Projects in 19th Century America.” Jewish History 21 (2007): 305-324.

An analysis of Jewish agricultural colonies in the United States with an eye towards the hardships and limitations of this movement. The author evaluates the juxtaposition of idealism versus historical experience.


Brotman, Richard. First Chapter in a New Book: A Documentary Portrait of Brotmanville and the Alliance Colony. Film Documentary, New York: Richard Brotman, 1982. [Find in a library near you]


A documentary by Richard Brotman, grandson of one of the Alliance Colony founders.


Brandes, Joseph. Immigrants to Freedom: Jewish Communities in Rural New Jersey since 1882 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971). F145.J5 B7 [Find in a library near you]


A historical analysis of Jewish agricultural communities in rural areas of New Jersey. This work details the Am Olam movement and describes the successes and failures of these colonies. The communities discussed include: Carmel, Alliance, Rosenhayn, and Woodbine. 


Dubrovsky, Gertrude Wishnick. The Land Was Theirs: Jewish Farmers in the Garden State (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1992). F145.J5 D83 1992 [Find in a library near you]


This work details the Jewish agricultural community in Farmingdale, New Jersey. Beginning in 1919, a Jewish farming community was formed with the combined resources of two families. The author traces the challenges of the community’s start to its expansion. Farmingdale eventually became one of the leading egg-production areas in the entire country. This work includes historical documents, photographs, and excerpts from about 120 interviews with local farmers.


Eisenberg, Ellen. Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey, 1882-1920 (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995). F145.J5 E38 1995 [Find in a library near you]


An examination of the Jewish agricultural communities of Salem and Cumberland County, New Jersey over a span of four decades. The author looks at the Am Olam Movement and discusses the ideological disagreements within the colonies. Chapter topics include: Background information on the eastern European Jewish immigrants who came to establish the colonies, The Am Olam movement, the sponsors of the colonies, the early years in New Jersey, the middle years (1890-1910), and the disbanding of the colonies.  


Eisenberg, Ellen. “Immigrant Origins and Sponsor Policies: Sources of Change in South Jersey Jewish Colonies.” Journal of American Ethnic History 11.3 (Spring 1992): 27-40.


A brief background on the founding of Jewish agricultural colonies in southern New Jersey. This article is a precursor to Eisenberg’s book, Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey, 1882-1920, published by Syracuse University Press in 1995.


Herscher, Uri D. Jewish Agricultural Utopias in America, 1800-1910 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1981). HD1516.U6 H4 [Find in a library near you]


The author takes a complex historical and social look at Jewish agricultural settlements founded in various places throughout the United States, including Oregon, Arkansas, Colorado, Virginia, the Dakotas, Michigan, and New Jersey. This study pays particular attention to the ideologies at play within the back to the land movement and the colonies themselves.


Kinsella, Tom. Growing American: The Alliance Agricultural Colony in South Jersey-A History (Galloway, NJ: South Jersey Culture and History Center, 2021).


A brief, readable introduction to the history of the Alliance that accompanied the exhibition Growing American, describing the Alliance Colony and its development into the neighboring villages of Norma, Alliance, and Brotmanville. Written by Tom Kinsella, the Elizabeth and Samuel Levin Director of the Alliance Heritage Center,


Available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and by contacting the Alliance Heritage Center at Stockton University.


Klein, Moses. Migdal Zophim. Philadelphia, 1889. Republished as Migdal Zophim and Farming in the Jewish Colonies of South Jersey (Galloway, NJ: South Jersey Culture and History Center, 2019). DS141 .K645 2019 [Find in a library near you]


In 1889, Moses Klein published Migdal Zophim, a collection of essays that offers farming—both in Palestine and New Jersey—as a solution to the crisis of Jews fleeing Eastern European persecution. This republication supplements Klein’s historical work with twenty additional accounts of the New Jersey farming colonies of Alliance, Rosenhayn and Carmel, dating from 1882 to 1907. Twenty original photographs have been reproduced along with twenty-three additional photographs not printed in the first edition. Read descriptions of South Jersey’s Jewish farming colonies as voiced by the early settlers and their contemporaries.


Available on Amazon or directly from Stockton and by contacting the Alliance Heritage Center at Stockton University.

Meyers, Allen. Southern New Jersey Synagogues: A Social History: Highlighted by Stories of Jewish Life from the 1880s-1980s (Staples: Marlton, NJ, 1991). BM223.N5 M49 [Find in a library near you]

This book, which includes photographs, presents a narrative of the history of southern New Jersey synagogues and their communities.


Popper, Deborah E. “’Great Opportunities for the Many of Small Means’: New Jersey’s Agricultural Colonies.” Geographical Review 96.1 (2006): 24-49.


An article discussing the history of the Jewish agricultural colonies of New Jersey with a focus on Alliance and Woodbine. This research details the particular struggles that Jewish immigrants from Russia faced as they settled in areas of New Jersey and began cultivating the land for agriculture.


Sabsovich, Katharine. Adventures in Idealism: The life of Professor H.L. Sabsovich Founder of Woodbine, New Jersey. Foreword by Jane Stark. First published in 1922, republished Galloway, NJ: South Jersey Culture and History Center, 2021. S537.N5 B5 2021 [Find in a library near you]

First published in 1922 and republished by the South Jersey Culture and History Center in 2021 with additional photographs and a new foreword and afterword, this biography tells the story of H. L. Sabsovich, founder of Woodbine, New Jersey.


Stainsby, William. The Jewish Colonies of South Jersey: A Historical Sketch of their Establishment and Growth. Bureau of Statistics of New Jersey: Camden, 1901, republished Galloway: South Jersey Culture and History Center Press, Stockton University, 2019. E184.J5 S73 2019 [Find in a library near you]


First published in 1901, this report by the Bureau of Statistics of New Jersey details the colonies of Alliance, Rosenhayn, Carmel, and Woodbine. This work was republished by the Alliance Heritage Center of Stockton University with additional content in 2019.


Weinstein, Ruth Ann. Back to the Land: Alliance Colony to the Ozarks in Four Generations (Galloway: South Jersey Culture and History Center Press, Stockton University, 2020). F145.J5 W45 2020 [Find in a library near you]


Ruth Weinstein’s memoir Back to the Land: Alliance Colony to the Ozarks in Four Generations was edited, designed, and published by the AHC. The memoir recounts the plight of Russian Jews, pushed out of their homeland by ruthless pogroms; it describes the early life of Alliance settlers; and beautifully reports Weinstein’s own childhood as a “summer kid” visiting Alliance, Norma, and nearby Vineland to see her grandfather, John Levin, as well as extended family and friends. For the past forty-five years, Weinstein and her husband, Joe McShane, have worked their forty-acre homestead in the Arkansas Ozarks, the description of which hearkens back to the experiences of Weinstein’s forebears.


Published in spring 2020, the 225-page paperback is an important contribution to the history of the Alliance Colony. It is available directly from Ruth Weinstein via her PayPal account at, by contacting the Center, or through Amazon.

Online Resources

Click on the links to explore

ACRe Alliance Community Reboot

A project initiated by William and Malya Levin, which seeks to revitalize the tradition of Jewish agriculture in the area and educate the public about the history of the Alliance Colony. They currently operate on 70 acres of farmland and have hosted public events on their property since 2016. More information about their Alliance historic model farm can be viewed here

Alliance Colony Geni Project

Hosted on the Geni family tree website, this project centers around the history and genealogical records of the families who lived in Alliance and the surrounding areas of Carmel, Norma, Brotmanville, and Rosenhayn. The project dashboard includes links to relevant, searchable databases such as the New Jersey Probate Records (1678-1980), New Jersey Births (1670-1980), New Jersey Marriages (1670-1980), and the New Jersey 1885 Census for Salem County, Pittsgrove. The project also links to various newspaper archives and resources.


Atlantic County Historical Society and Library


This southern New Jersey historical society and library offers onsite archival records and genealogy assistance. Their research collections include manuscripts, church records, deeds, diaries, maps, and more. They also conduct and archive local oral history interviews as part of the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. For more information on the Veterans History Project, click here.  


Cumberland County Historical Society


First organized in 1905, this southern New Jersey historical society houses in-person archives and genealogical resources. The museum also holds files on the Carmel, Norma, and Rosenhayn communities. Their growing virtual library can be found here.


Located in Cumberland County, New Jersey and in partnership with the Cumberland County Historical Society, this research center offers free public access to local historical and genealogy resources.

The Genealogical Society of New Jersey

This society supports genealogy research and education throughout the Garden State. Members collect, preserve, and publish genealogical information, making these resources accessible to a wide audience. Available resources include census records, information on births, deaths, and marriages, early land records, and more.


Genealogical Society of Salem County


This society is dedicated to genealogy research in south Jersey. They offer informational programs on conducting research for individuals and a comprehensive collection of material for researchers. They also serve the surrounding counties of Cumberland and Gloucester.


Gloucester County Historical Society


This southern New Jersey historical society and library holds one of the largest genealogy collections in the area. Their resources include manuscripts, newspapers, microfilm, deeds, cemetery and church records, marriage information, and more. Their holdings contain two folders with information on Jewish farming in the area.

Center for Jewish History


The Center for Jewish History is a Smithsonian affiliate which holds one of the largest repositories of Jewish archives in the world. The center, along with its partner organizations,  have collected extensive archival materials including art, textiles, religious objects, recordings, photographs, and more. The Center also offers academic fellowships, conferences, lectures, dynamic online exhibits, and genealogy programs.


Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia


The society hosts a wide selection of material related to Jewish history and genealogy in the greater Philadelphia area. Their objectives include: collecting and preserving information, fostering interest in genealogical research, providing resources and education to the public, and preserving genealogical records.

Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey


Founded in 1990, the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey, houses archival collections of the  Jewish communities of New Jersey. Their mission is to preserve Jewish history in the Garden State by collecting material making it accessible to the public. Holdings include the manuscripts, historical artifacts, books, oral histories, public exhibitions, and more.

Murphy Writing of Stockton University

Murphy Writing of Stockton University offers U.S., international, and online programs. These workshops provide a challenging and supportive environment with a wide variety of genres including: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, flash forms, novels for young readers, and much more. In addition, Murphy Writing organizes dynamic community programming, both in-person and online. You can see some of their past events by viewing their YouTube channel. For information on their programs, click here and follow their Facebook page for updates.

National Archives: Resources for Genealogists


Beginning or experienced genealogy enthusiasts will find a wealth of information on this page. The National Archives provides resources on starting your family research, relevant workshops, census records, military service, immigration reports, tools for genealogists, and more.

New Jersey Historical Society

The New Jersey Historical Society offers archival collections, digital resources, genealogical information, and educational programs on the history of the Garden State. Their website includes helpful information on how to access and use their collections. The society also houses physical artifacts and exhibitions.


New Jersey State Archives

The New Jersey State Archives holds an extensive collection of primary sources which include land deeds, probate records, military documents, birth, death, marriage, and census information, microfilm of county clerks’ and surrogates’ records, local newspapers and more. Their records date back to the founding of New Jersey as a British colony in 1664.


New Jersey State Library




The New Jersey State Library has a large collection of digital and onsite resources for researchers and genealogy enthusiasts. Their holdings include: Family histories, genealogy books and periodicals, the New Jersey City Directories Collection, federal and New Jersey censuses, and a newspaper collection.


The Noyes Museum of Art

The Noyes Arts Garage, located in Atlantic City, NJ, provides education, resources for artists, community engagement, and more. With exhibitions, gallery shops, and community events, the Arts Garage is a cornerstone of artistic and cultural expression in the area. The Noyes Galleries at Kramer Hall in Hammonton, NJ provide changing exhibitions which promote local arts and culture and showcase artists. For more information about Noyes Museum events and programming, visit their YouTube channel and follow their Facebook page.

Ocean County Historical Society


This historical society has an extensive collection which includes manuscripts, census information, marriage, birth, and death records, obituaries, deeds, high school graduations, newspapers on microfilm, maps, photographs, and other genealogical resources.

The Refugee Studies Initiative at Stockton University

The Refugee Studies Initiative is dedicated to fostering research on the dislocation of refugees through programming and scholarship. It is an effort “to create collaborations that forefront the voices, perspectives, and activism of refugees and displaced people in research and in the struggle to address the related political, ideological, social, and environmental factors that give rise to the unprecedented displacement in our world today.” (source)    

Rutgers: Jewish Agriculture Website


This online exhibit curated by Rutgers University offers historical information on Jewish farming in New Jersey. The website includes sections on Jewish settlements in the Russian Empire, Jewish immigration to North America, the Am Olam Movement, Jewish farming in New Jersey with a focus on the communities of Alliance, Carmel, Brotmanville, Woodbine, and more with some specific family histories.

Salem County Historical Society


This historical society and museum houses both physical artifacts and archival collections. Among the many resources available through this society are community programs, primary documents, newspapers, microfilm, photograph collections, manuscripts, and genealogical sources. Their holdings include several files on Alliance and Norma with historical photographs.


The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage


This organization is dedicated to preserving the history of Woodbine while actively creating community partnerships and programs to enhance awareness of the area’s vibrant local narratives. The museum houses information and exhibitions on arts and culture, farming and factories, sports, the Woodbine Brotherhood Synagogue, the Baron de Hirsch Agricultural School, local success stories, oral histories, and more. For additional information, see the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage, Stockton University Website here.


The Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton University


The Sara & Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center forms an extensive and vital resource for Holocaust and genocide education. It is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and providing educational programming to the Stockton Community, local schools, and the public. More information about the center’s mission, programming, and educational initiatives can be found at the link above. To see photographs of the resource center and several of the displays, click here. See the following link for information on another exciting center initiative: The South Jersey Holocaust Survivor Digital Exhibition and Archive.

South Jersey Culture and History Center

The South Jersey Culture and History Center works to create awareness about the unique cultural and historical heritage of southern New Jersey. Through a variety of publishing projects, programming, and community connections, the center is dedicated to preserving the history of the area and preserving the rich cultural heritage of its members. For a list of publications, click here.

Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society

Founded in 1864, this organization is the oldest local historical society in New Jersey. This society hosts a museum with physical artifacts, exhibits, and a variety of archival records including manuscripts, deeds, birth and death records, marriage information, church records, genealogy resources, and more.


Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History


This museum offers a comprehensive look at American Jewish history. It includes many online resources, particularly a digital museum with interactive exhibits and programs. Of specific interest is the Locally Grown Exhibit, a virtual installation which details the narrative of Jewish farming in New Jersey.  


YIVO Institute for Jewish Research



The YIVO Institute is a comprehensive resource for research on Jewish communities and culture worldwide. The organization has an extensive online information repository and encyclopedia available to browse. YIVO also promotes new research, education, and scholarship.

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