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The picnics of 1928 and 1929

  The Labor Day 1928 Picnic

It was Labor Day, Monday September 3, 1928, when about 35 families and their honored guests, a total of about 250 persons, met on the Harpersfield farm of Meyer and Slova Flock. They had come dressed for an important event - a banquet under a large tent. The event was what we might call today the "kick off" of a campaign by the recently formed Jewish Farmers Association of Geneva Ohio. The only story of the event reported that its goal was to raise funds for a Jewish center.

The honored guest was Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of The Temple (today The Temple - Tifereth Israel). A Zionist leader who would be honored late in his life by the naming of the Kfar Silver agricultural school in Israel, Silver spoke of the importance of farming in Jewish history. His speech would have been most welcome as was the check for $1,000 he brought. The rabbi made many gifts from funds he received through speaking engagements, but this gift may have been from The Temple or the Cleveland Jewish Community.

The photo below shows Rabbi Silver with the visiting Jewish Agricultural Society officials and the Geneva Jewish Farmers Association officers.

The panoramic photograph, beautifully organized with the children in front, was taken by Cleveland professional photographer H. Koss.

Cleveland's Jewish weeklies did not mention the picnic. Then they were only eight pages, with about two pages of news.

Geneva Free Press September 4, 1928
Courtesy Ashtabula County Library
Ric Consiglio

Photo source: Cleveland Jewish News September 17, 1990

 Below: the historic panoramic photograph of the Geneva Jewish Farmers
To see it three times the size, with the names of many in the photograph, click here

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 Independence Day 1929 Picnic

The Farmers Association learned quickly. What was called "the second annual picnic" was moved to Independence Day, Thursday July 4, 1929 and now included a bazaar that would run through Sunday July 7. The Euclid Avenue Temple (today Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple) was Cleveland's other Reform congregation. Attorney Alfred Benesch was a trustee of The Temple (The Temple - Tifereth Israel). The two Cleveland Jewish weeklies carried similar stories.

This announcement would not have brought anyone to the event as it does not include the time of the event, its cost, the address of the Flock (misspelled Fleck) farm, or how to learn more. Perhaps the Ashtabula County papers and notices to synagogues, posters and handbills said more.

Jewish Independent of June 14, 1929   >    


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