return to Home page The Geneva Jewish Farmers Picnics  

The picnics of 1928 and 1929

  The Labor Day 1928 Picnic

It was Labor Day, Monday September 3, 1928, when about 35 families - all the Jewish farming families in the area- 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 gift of $1,000 mentioned in the story. For more on the source of that gift, click here.

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

The panoramic photograph, so well organized with the children in front, was taken by Cleveland professional photographer H. Koss. Full size prints, captioned as shown below, were distributed to all attending the 1990 reunion of farmer families.

Cleveland's two English-language weeklies did not mention the picnic. Then they devoted only two of their eight pages to 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 more than twice this 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    Labor Day  September 3, 1928
Photo by H. Koss    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 again held at the Flock farm but was moved to Independence Day, Thursday July 4, 1929 and extended to include a bazaar that ran through Sunday July 7. The speakers were Rabbi Barnett Brickner of the Euclid Avenue Temple (today Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple) and attorney Alfred Benesch, 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. If we find a poster or handbill we will add it to this page.

Jewish Independent of June 14, 1929   > 

Was there a Jewish Farmers Association of Geneva Ohio?

To date our searching of organization names registered with the State of Ohio in the late 1920s has found no organization with that name or one similar. We will continue to search. 4/25/17

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