“Most salutary would be the influence of such a colony upon the education of our youth; for there, more than in any other situation, might we gratify the best and warmest wishes of our hearts, that of educating our children for the noble and elevated pursuits of life, for the attainment of wisdom and virtue.
“In such a society, excellent men and worthy women might spring up, who would deserve to be called an ornament to Israel, and an honor to mankind.”
Leeser endorsed in principle Stern’s idea of founding such an agricultural settlement but was against the idea of establishing a Jewish state. In his introduction to Stern’s letter Lesser wrote, “We do not agree with Mr. Stern that it would be expedient to found a Jewish state, or even to desire it, since necessarily its peculiar laws could come in conflict with those differing from it on all sides.”
In any event, Stern’s plan received no popular support.
This was not, however, the final attempt to establish Jewish agricultural settlements in America. Some of those will be discussed in future columns
About the Author: Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He now teaches as an adjunct at Stevens. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at email@example.com.
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