Labor and land at the start of Jewish settlement in Argentina
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Studying nearly two decades of activity as reflected in materials found in the archives of the Jewish Colonization Association, this essay explores the early stages of organized Jewish agricultural settlement in Argentina. JCA directors debated the optimal size of land that could constitute an economically viable farm. The issues of non-Jewish labor and the leasing of land to non-Jews were also a concern. The JCA further promoted the ideal of settler “productivization” through farming, a goal shared by many settlers. The rising price of land, as well as shifts in national patterns of economy and agriculture, brought about significant changes in the Argentine settlement project. The JCA responded by increasing the size of allocated land, introducing animal husbandry, and by recognizing the need for hired hands at harvest time. Aided by the JCA, and despite objective and psychological obstacles, immigrants from the Russian Empire established colonies that endured for decades.
KeywordsSmall Plot Livestock Breeding Salaried Employee Jewish Immigrant Jewish Colonization
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