Education of an arendar or farm manager,19th c., #general #lithuania


elisefmiller68@...
 

In the 1880s, my great-grandfather Hirsh Grynberg (later Greenberg in the US) was a farm manager in the Suwalki District (Gubernia), Lithuania, in the Pale. My JewishGen teacher called him an Arendar. Under the Arenda system, Jews who could not own land would be hired by landowners to manage their estates and tenants. 

My question is, does anyone know how a young Jew would educate, train, or otherwise prepare himself for a responsible position of this sort? It must have required some knowledge of agriculture and also of the mercantile aspect of earning money from farm products. I'm looking at the years 1860-1890. After cheder in a small shtetl, what would Hirsh have done to get that far in life? Thank you! 
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Elise Frances Miller
San Mateo, CA
elisefmiller68@...


kosfiszer8@...
 

There was a movement to remove the Jews from their traditional ways and become farmers. Quite a few farming colonies were established in the Ukraine and other countries of the pail. Baron Hirsch established farming colonies in the Americas and Argentina had more than 30000 Jews making a living through farming, starting around 1880. There were Jewish farming schools set up by the the Baron Hirsch organization.

Angel Kosfiszer

Richardson, Texas


Michele Lock
 

There is a chapter in a the book 'Lita' on the Jewishgen website, that covers Jewish agriculture in Lithuania, including Suwalki. It is at:
https://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/lita/lit0997.html

The chapter doesn't go into what sort of education a farm manager would have at the time, though I would think they would need to be able to read/write in either Polish or Russian. Do you know from census records what sort of education your great grandfather said he had, or what language he spoke? If he lived up to 1940, that US census asked people how many years of education they had, and what sort of school they attended.

I have two great grandparents who were dairy farmers in northern Lithuania, near Zagare. They would have held leases from local landowners; I think they would have been what we now call tenant farmers. One seems to have married into a dairy farming family, while the other seems to have been born into such a family. I don't think they had anything beyond a cheder education.
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Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Rabinowitz in Papile, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


elisefmiller68@...
 

Thank you, Angel and Michele. I shall look into that book, Michele - I know he spoke Polish and came from a mercantile family, but know of no other education outside cheder. and Angel, I know about those colonies, and suspect my ggf's goal was simply to own his own land! At the age of 64, on his 3rd trip to America, he finally acquired 80 fertile acres outside of Atchison KS and settled there with his wife and youngest 7 children. Not the end of the story! I'm trying to write the book. 
--
Elise Frances Miller
San Mateo, CA
elisefmiller68@...


Paul King
 

Education of an arendar. Since a large percentage of Jews were arendars in Poland from the 17th c. through to the 19th c., there was an accretion of knowledge both within the family and communally as to what was entailed in being an arendar. Of course, reading and writing for bookkeeping purposes was essential, but management of labor, networking for the purchase of agricultural equipment and marketing of wares or produce were among the key skills required and acquired. For excellent commentary on Polish arendars, I suggest M. J. Rosman, The Lords' Jews: Magnate-Jewish Relations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the 18th Century., and Hillel Levine, Economic Origins of Antisemitism: Poland and Its Jews in the Early Modern Period.

Paul King
Jerusalem


Renee Steinig
 

Another book of possible interest is Gershon Hundert's The Jews in a
Polish Private Town: The Case of Opatów in the Eighteenth Century. It
is available online, at https://muse.jhu.edu/book/71395/pdf . In
particular, the chapter on "Jews in the Economy" (pages 46 to 68) may
shed some light.

Renee

Renee Stern Steinig
Dix Hills NY
genmaven@...

Paul King <pauledking@...> wrote:

<<Education of an arendar. Since a large percentage of Jews were
arendars in Poland from the 17th c. through to the 19th c., there was
an accretion of knowledge both within the family and communally as to
what was entailed in being an arendar. Of course, reading and writing
for bookkeeping purposes was essential, but management of labor,
networking for the purchase of agricultural equipment and marketing of
wares or produce were among the key skills required and acquired. For
excellent commentary on Polish arendars, I suggest M. J. Rosman, The
Lords' Jews: Magnate-Jewish Relations in the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth during the 18th Century, and Hillel Levine, Economic
Origins of Antisemitism: Poland and Its Jews in the Early Modern
Period.>>


elisefmiller68@...
 

Thanks to all for such helpful information! I can see many people know a lot more than I do about this subject that is an integral part of Jewish history. I will seek these several suggested books. 
--
Elise Frances Miller
San Mateo, CA
elisefmiller68@...