Stockton University’s Alliance Heritage Center has won a $24,500 grant to digitize the archives of the Alliance Colony, a Jewish farming community founded in southern New Jersey in the late 19th century. 

The center’s archives include physical and digital materials such as manuscripts, naturalization papers, newspapers, deeds, maps, land surveys, synagogue records, photographs and oral history interviews, according to Patricia Chappine, adjunct professor of history at the Galloway-N.J. university. It also holds the writings of Moses Bayuk, a rabbi and founding Alliance member.

Digitizing the records makes them more accessible and helps “preserve the stories of Alliance and Jewish agriculture in the area,” Chappine said in a press release.

Fleeing Russian pogroms, some 40 Russian-Jewish immigrants founded Alliance in Pittsgrove Township, N.J. on May 10, 1882. A variety of charities, including the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (now HIAS) and the Baron de Hirsch Fund, funded the colony, and supporters planned for Jewish farming enclaves to spread throughout the country. There, they hoped, Russian Jewish refugees could live self-sufficiently.

None of those Jewish agricultural communities remains today. The last known survivor of the Alliance Colony, Lillian Greenblatt Braun, died in 2015 at the age of 110.

The new grant is part of a New Jersey Historical Commission initiative to help tell the “underrepresented narratives in New Jersey history” ahead of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

The commission awarded more than $300,000 to more than a dozen organizations. The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County in New Jersey received a $10,000 grant for an oral histories project.

“Telling complex, diverse and nuanced histories will continue to be a priority of the New Jersey Historical Commission, and this funding is an important next step to achieving that essential goal,” Tahesha Way, the N.J. secretary of state, said in a press release.


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