Agricultural colony of Zhankoye #russia


The Jewish agricultural colony of Zhankoye was in the Crimea, not Birobidzhan. The song's lyrics mention Simferopel and Sevastopol.

Judy Baston
San Francisco.

Henry Carrey Boston,MA . Carey/Kirzhner/Berestyaner , Belous , Isenberg - Lutsk ; Postolov/Herman/Kolovsky-Zhitomir

I have done a little research on two agricultural colonies . One was Trochenbrod ,(Sofievka )  which was only an agricultural colony in part,  near Lutsk in Ukraine. You can google the details but it was founded as originally as a farming colony for dispossessed Jews in 1835 with land donated by the Sophie , the Czar Paul's wife and eventually grew into a small town with up as many as 4,000 people. The town was completely eradicated in 1942 by the Nazis. Now there are only trees and fields there . 

The  propaganda/recruitment  song " Zhankoye " which Judy mentions refers to one or more collective farms created near the railway terminus of Zhankoy in the Crimea created on questionably arable land especially for Jews . In the 1920's , the farm was a place for Zionists to learn farming skills which they could use in Palestine . The idea was to create a Soviet client state in the Middle-East.
The song was a favorite of left wing groups in the US. It was always sung at the musicals gatherings I attended. It talks about how Jews should all move to Zhankoye where men and women  could all be proud farmers and spit in the face of anti-semites who thought Jews were afraid of hard work . ( Its rousing melody helps ! )

By the early 1930's the Soviet authorities soured on the idea and Zhankoye became just another collective with poor soil , not a specifically Jewish one or one connected to Palestine . Later , they  came up with the idea of Birobidjan.
Henry H. Carrey

Alan Shuchat

Here's an old video of Pete Seeger singing about Zhankoye in Yiddish:
There's an English translation at, and I've attached a map showing where Zhankoye is in Crimea.
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA