Kfar Chassidim in 1935.
(photo credit: Lenny Ben-David)
The Library of Congress has recently digitalized a collection of over 10,000
photographs, taken by the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, a group of Christian
utopians who lived in Jerusalem between 1881 and the 1940s. The photographers
returned to the US, and bequeathed their massive collection to the Library of
Congress in 1978. The collection includes Winston Churchill's visit to
Jerusalem, Jewish expulsions from the Old City during Arab riots, and the
building of Tel Aviv.
Many of the kibbutz and moshav agricultural
communities established in Palestine in the early 1900s were based on socialist
ideals. A large number of the new settlers discarded the old religious
traditions of their parents and ancestors. But the Zionist enterprise and the
promise to return to the "holy land" also inspired ultra-Orthodox Jews in Poland
to establish a farming community in Israel's north called Kfar Chassidim, or
"village of the devout."
The settlers, many followers of the Kuznetz
chassidic dynasty of Poland, first organized in 1922 while still in Poland. They
purchased the land in Palestine and established Kfar Chassidim in 1924. But the
land was swampland, and the community was hard hit by malaria and a lack of
The Jewish National Fund aided the community in
drying the swamps, paid off their debts and sent agricultural experts to train
the new farmers. Today, the community has approximately 600
More photos can be viewed at http://www.israeldailypicture.com