Papa Was a Farmer

Brenda Weisberg Meckler, Author, Marcia Erickson, Illustrator Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $16.95 (318p) ISBN 978-0-912697-95-6
Jewish immigrants have traditionally settled in cities, but Max Weisberg took a different path. With his wife and small daughter, he left Russia in 1904, went first to Cincinnati and eventually to a 60-acre farm in southern Ohio. The rural community, previously unfamiliar with European Jewish immigrants, accepted the family without prejudice. Weisberg's daughter ``Goldie'' here recalls her bucolic childhood with affection: the one-room schoolhouse, chores, adapting to local customs. The chief social events were the annual fish fry, Sunday school picnics and box suppers at the church. Community activities were typical of the time and place; the difference in Meckler's story is the presence of an informal network of Jewish immigrants in Cincinnati and the surrounding countryside. Mama sold butter and eggs in the city; one of her customers was a designer in a dress factory who made clothes for Goldie. Papa discovered a foundation that helped Jews and sought advice from that quarter. The memoir is an appealing piece of rural Americana. (September)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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