Last week I returned home to Vineland, NJ ... and I mean HOME home, back to our farmland where my family lived when I was born, for the 125 year anniversary of the Jewish Alliance Colony. For a little background, Joel Landau of The Courier Post explains in his article, "Town honors anniversary of Jewish colony":
In 1882, 43 Jewish families fled the Soviet Union to come to South Jersey and do something they were never allowed to do before.
The refugees, from what is now Odessa, Ukraine, started the Alliance Colony, which became the first Jewish agricultural colony in the country. Now, descendants of those first families and hundreds more that came shortly afterward reflected on and honored their history at Alliance Cemetery on Gershal Avenue.
My father's side of the family were amongst the original 43, and I have many fond memories of growing up in Vineland with fellow descendants, who are like a big extended family to me.