“Jews on the Land”: Agro-Joint in the 1920s–1930s
Jews on Ukrainian Lands, ,
Istorychna Pravda, ,
Photo essay: A little-known page of Ukraine’s national history. Below is a photo essay about efforts to create Jewish colonies in the south of Ukraine and in Crimea with the help of Jewish organizations in the United States.
Lottery ticket of the Society for the Settlement of Jewish Toilers on the Land (OZET). The money was earmarked for the creation of Jewish collective farms.
Joseph Rosen, director of Agro-Joint [American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation] (at left) and Boris Bogen, head of the Joint Program for Eastern Europe. [He was based in Moscow—Trans.], 1924. Archives of the Joint [American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee]
Members of the Tel Chai commune (renamed “October” in 1928), Crimea, 1920s. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York
Students and instructors of tractor driving courses offered by Agro-Joint, Kherson, March 1926. Photo: M. Flantzweig. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York
Colonists initially lived in temporary barracks, Crimea, 1925. Archives of the Joint
Rally during the official establishment of the first Jewish national district, Kalinindorf, Ukraine, 1927. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York
Agro-Joint machine-tractor base in the city of Dzhankoi, Crimea, 1929. Photo: B. Bueler. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York
Members of the Oyflebung commune building a temporary kitchen, Crimea, 1925. Archives of the Joint
Young people from the colony situated in the village of Alchin, Crimea, celebrating the anniversary of the October Revolution, 1920s. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York
A boy playing the violin for Jewish collective farm workers, Crimea. Photo from the collection of the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg, where the OZET archives are held.
OZET membership card.
Winemakers of the “Der Weg zum Sozialismus” collective farm. At left: Solomon Shrage; at right: Illia Glaushtein, head of the collective farm. Kalinindorf Jewish National District, before 1936.
Pedagogical college in the district center of Kalinindorf. Photo from the collection of the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg, where the OZET archives are held.
Start-up of an artesian well in Saky raion, Crimea, 1934. Archives of the Joint
Jewish collective farm worker, Ukraine, 1920s.
The builder Naphtali Gendin with his sons, Yakov (at left) and Naum at the Oyfelbung commune, Crimea, 1925. Archives of the Joint
Solomon Nodel, manager of the poultry farm at the “Vidrodzhennia” [Renaissance] collective farm. Arrested on 13 August 1938 on charges of conducting religious propaganda and belonging to a Zionist organization. Released after five months. Archives of the Joint
Wheat field of the Khaklai colony, Dzhankoi raion, Crimea, 1926. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York
Late 1930s. The Bolshevik authorities destroy the Joint, institute repressions against a considerable number of Jewish collective farm workers, and liquidate the national districts, the Jewish press, and education.
Demonstration at the Bukharindorf kibbutz, near Kryvyi Rih, 1920s.
Originally appeared in Ukrainian @
Istorychna Pravda’s ‘Shalom!’ media project, which explores the Ukrainian-Jewish dialogue, is made possible by the Canadian non-profit organization Ukrainian Jewish Encounter.
Translated from the Ukrainian by Marta D. Olynyk.
Edited by Peter Bejger.