Program Recap: Speaking Yiddish to Chickens

April 26, 2023
by Rebeca Miller

Author Seth Stern joined us on April 25th, 2023 to discuss his new book Speaking Yiddish to Chickens, moderated by the Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Connecticut, Avinoam Patt. By the mid 20th Century the Jewish Agricultural Society had begun to help immigrant Jewish families settle onto farms in New Jersey and Connecticut. For refugees arriving to the United States after the holocaust this was a way to build a stable life. Jewish communities began to develop in rural areas with synagogues and kosher eateries providing a sense of comfort and familiarity for these newly arrived individuals.

Topics covered in this discussion: Immigration, refugees, farming, chickens, Vineland, families.

AJHS collections cited by this author: Baron de Hirsch Fund.

Seth Stern 

Seth Stern is a legal journalist and author of Speaking Yiddish to Chickens. His grandparents were Holocaust survivors who settled on a Vineland, New Jersey, chicken farm, which is where his mother grew up. He is an editor at Bloomberg Industry Group. 

Avinoam J. Patt

Avinoam J. Patt, is the Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies and Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at the University of Connecticut. Until July 2019, he served as the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, where he was also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization. Previously, he worked as the Miles Lerman Applied Research Scholar for Jewish Life and Culture at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2022-23, he is serving as Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies at New York University.