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Book Talk: Speaking Yiddish to Chickens
About This Book
Most of the roughly 140,000 Holocaust survivors who came to the United States in the first decade after World War II settled in big cities such as New York. But a few thousand chose an alternative way of life on American farms. More of these accidental farmers wound up raising chickens in southern New Jersey than anywhere else. Speaking Yiddish to Chickens is the first book to chronicle this little-known chapter in American Jewish history when these mostly Eastern European refugees – including the author’s grandparents - found an unlikely refuge and gateway to new lives in the US on poultry farms. They gravitated to a section of south Jersey anchored by Vineland, a small rural city where previous waves of Jewish immigrants had built a rich network of cultural and religious institutions.

Apr 25, 2023 06:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Seth Stern
Author, Speaking Yiddish to Chickens
Seth Stern is a legal journalist and author of Speaking Yiddish to Chickens: Holocaust Survivors on South Jersey Poultry Farms, published in March 2023 by Rutgers University Press. 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 and previously reported for Bloomberg News, Congressional Quarterly, and the Christian Science Monitor. He co-authored Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Avinoam J. Patt
Chair of Judaic Studies and Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life @University of Connecticut
Avinoam J. Patt, Ph.D. 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 (USHMM). In 2022-23, he is serving as Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies at New York University.