JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Colonia Montefiore--what was it? #general


Carlos Glikson
 

Marty Meyers asked about what the "Colonia Montefiore" was. It was indeed
an agricultural colony, 15 km >from Ceres in straight line (28 by car),
in the 9 de Julio Department, mid to North Western sector of the
Argentine province of Santa Fe. There are no paved roads reaching
Montefiore, no buses, and no hotel to stay overnight. You must drive >from
Ceres, where there is bedding. It is better to drive by day, and not to
do so if it has rained on the night before...

According to Shalom Argentina - "Tracing Jewish Settlement", a guide to
the colony circuit, Colonia Montefiore was established by the Jewish
Colonization Association of Baron Maurice de Hirsch - one of the latest
colonies to be founded (1912).

In 1914 there was a great flood, and five years later 140 families
remained of the 208 at the time of the flood. Yiddish was spoken, and
many of the natives farmhands learned Yiddish expressions before the
settlers learned Spanish. Montefiore grew to have three bilingual
schools, five synagogues and two libraries in the 1940s. It has a few
hundred inhabitants today, none of them Jewish. Many sons and grandsons
of pioneers emigrated to the greater cities in the province, such as
Rosario and Santa Fe, or to the national capital, Buenos Aires. Some
descendants still administer the farms, but moved to the cities or nearby
towns.

Marty mentioned relatives leaving Poland prior to WW II. The section in
the book mentions fifteen families arriving >from Poland, Czechoslovakia
and Rumania shortly before WW II. The last group of new settlers arrived
in May 1940 under the JCA on board the French ship Florida. With
prosperity in the 1950s came depopulation, with settleres moving >from the
farms to town.

The only record of burials that survived the floods is kept at City Hall,
is very incomplete, and lists burials for 1942-1962. The cemetery has
only 5 rows of graves. The book gives a phone for a contact, Ricardo
Colombo, in City Hall in relation to coordinating visits to the cemetery,
calling earlier than 1 PM. It also mentions you may ask for Ricardo at
the town bar after hours, or at home!. I can't post the phones but I can
mail the phone numbers privately.

Hope this helps,

Carlos Glikson
Buenos Aires

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