A New Life on the Land: Jewish Farmers in Canada

As told on camera by early settlers, their children and grandchildren, this is a story of Jews who came to farm Canadian soil, to savour the odour of prairie flowers and cope with blizzards, locusts….and debt. It’s about escape from poverty and oppression in Eastern Europe, of first winters living in underground shelters, of clearing the land and bringing in first crops, of the woman’s contribution, of schools and synagogues, of community get-togethers and singing. From the West to Quebec and Ontario, from two hot runaway oxen in 1900 to a prize-winning dairy herd today, from grain to organic vegetables, an ongoing story of Jewish farming in Canada.

The film pays homage to Baron Maurice de Hirsch and his wife Clara, who established the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA), which set up agriculture and trade schools as well as credit institutions, so that Jews throughout the world could become productive citizens of enlightened society.

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