return to Home page The 1928 Panoramic Photo of the Geneva Jewish Farmers  

Banquet Given in Honor of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver
by the Jewish Farmers of Geneva Ohio    September 3, 1928

Photo courtesy of the Western Reserve Historical Society

The group photo is 30 inches wide. The WRHS Archive has an 8" x 10" photo of it and furnished a high resolution .pdf copy. We converted the .jpg image above, plus one on another page - twice that size with a list of many in the photograph.

This panoramic picture of the Jewish Farmers Association families was taken on Saturday September 3, 1928, probably soon after the photo of the Jewish Agricultural Society officials and the (Geneva) Jewish Farmers Association officers with Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver shown on our main Geneva Jewish Farmers page.

(For a much larger image with a list of some of the families, click here.)

Contrary to the five-line label in the image, the event was not to honor Rabbi Silver; it was to help launch an organization to raise funds for a Jewish school. Rabbi Silver brought a check for $1,000 that purpose. Conservative Rabbi Solomon Goldman had also endorsed the project.

Ordinarily Abba Hillel Silver's presence would have resulted in good press coverage, but the picnic was just before the High Holy Days when getting a story in an English-language Jewish weekly paper was hardest. Only Ashtabula County papers told of the event. A Zionist, Silver valued farming as a Jewish occupation and confirmed that in his talk to the group.

The farmers association learned quickly. Cleveland's Jewish Independent of June 14, 1920 announced that a "second annual" Jewish Farmers picnic would be on Independence Day, Thursday July 4, 1929.

Alfred Benesch was a trustee of The Temple (Tifereth Israel).

After the 1929 picnic Cleveland's Jewish weeklies say little about the Jewish farmers. In 1932 they hired an Orthodox rabbi for part-time teaching and to lead High Holy Day services. We find no further mention of the Farmers Association or its campaign. It may have been a casualty of the Great Depression or a sign of the community's decline as its children departed for college and many of its families left for city life. 

as of 3/17/17

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