Excerpt from Catalogue of the National Farm School, 1898
In the summer of 1894, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, of Philadelphia, visited Russia, in an effort to secure data concerning the condition of the Jews in that country and to urge means for its amelioration. While there, he observed the astonishing zeal with which Jews pursued agriculture, within the limits allowed by the Russian government. He saw a people yearning, not as common prejudice has assumed, for a life of trade, but for Opportunities to work out their existence from the soil. He furthermore visited, at the sugges tion of Count Tolstoi, the Jewish agricultural school, at Odessa, the end of whose activity was the graduation of practical working farmers, and instructors and managers of agricultural colonies. The avidity with which Jewish lads availed themselves of the facilities thus given them, convinced him that the agricultural instincts, fostered in Biblical times, still lingered, and needed but opportunity for their manifestation.
On his return to America, Dr. Krauskopf proceeded to formulate plans for the institution of a Farm School, which, while welcoming all students regardless of creed, might satisfy the demand of large numbers of Jews for agricultural Opportunities. After months of agitation, sufficient funds were procured for the purchase of a farm and the erection of adequate buildings thereon.
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