New Talk by County Historian Stephanie Stevens on the Jewish Migration into Hunterdon County MAY 9

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On Tuesday, May 9th, County Historian Stephanie Stevens will discuss her latest book, The Journey, an account of the origins of Jewish life in Hunterdon County, published by the Hunterdon 300th Committee. The 36-page volume is the ninth local history book by County Historian Stephanie Stevens.

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Beginning in 1885, hundreds of thousands of Jewish people were liberated from a life of serfdom under the Russian Tsars by a wealthy German humanitarian, Baron Maurice de Hirsch, who sponsored their immigration to America. The first Jewish family came to Hunterdon in 1908. Ms. Stevens recounts their poignant story and those of all who followed them into new lives as American farmers and tradesmen. She also details their contributions to our community and includes many historical photographs.

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Ms. Stevens reports her brief overview “seeks to place the history of our original Russian Jewish brethren into the context of Hunterdon’s diverse population. Over the years, the histories of the Dutch, Germans, and English, have evolved. Now we add the Russian Jewish immigrants to the great quilt pattern known as America.”

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Ms. Stevens interviewed many people from the Flemington Jewish Community Center during her research for the book including both the late Rabbi Evan Jaffe and Bill Blaher.  

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The talk begins at 7 pm at the Hunterdon County Library Main Branch on Route 12 in Raritan Township.  It is free but reservations may be made by calling the Hunterdon 300th at 788-2030 or through their website www.hunterdon300th.org.  The book will be available for purchase at the talk for $5 or purchased anytime at the Readington Library, 255 Main Street in Whitehouse Station. Hours there are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am to 5 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 8 pm; and on Saturday from 9 am to noon.

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