It’s the 1890s. Connecticut Yankees are selling their rocky farms, Jews are fleeing Czarist Russia, and a Jewish back-to-the-land movement sees turning shtetl refugees into farmers as the best way for them become productive, self-sufficient Americans. Add some funding from the German-Jewish philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch and you have the recipe for a Jewish agricultural revival that ultimately settled a thousand Jewish families in rural Connecticut.

Using historic footage, home movies, and Yiddish-language farm journals, as well as testimony from participants – including survivors of Russian pogroms and the Holocaust – this documentary presents the fascinating but little-known story of the American Jewish pioneers who established farms and mini-agricultural resorts in Eastern Connecticut.

On CPTV: Monday, May 29 at 10 p.m.

“Women's Work” features the stories of Connecticut women serving as leaders, trailblazers, artists, educators, advocates and entrepreneurs. Watch the original TV documentary. Six additional short films will be released weekly - watch them here.

Share YOUR story, too. Honor a woman who has made an impact in your life or tell us your immigration story. Post a photo and caption to the Sharing Connecticut Facebook page with #RAISEHERUP or #CTAMERICAN.
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Our Sharing Connecticut series lets you visit the unique people and places that drive the pulse and spirit of our state. Browse the full Sharing Connecticut series »