History or comments
One of the last remnants of the Alliance Colony and one of few remaining 19th century wooden synagogues still in use in the United States.
The Alliance Colony was a Jewish agricultural community that was founded in Alliance, New Jersey in 1882 by a group of 25 eastern European Jews. By the end of the first summer there were 60 to 70 families living in the colony. Each family had 40 acres of farmland that needed to be cleared and farmed. Although they had scant knowledge of farming they received training from their neighbors and financial assistance from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
The colonists belonged to the Am Olam Movement that believed in “return to the soil ” based on the concept that by becoming tillers of the soil they could shake off the accusation that Jews are petty mercenaries living off the work of others.
Although the Alliance Colony has faded away remnants still exist today. The well maintained cemetery is still in use for the Jewish communities of Cumberland and Salem counties. The old Tifereth Israel synagogue, built in vernacular carpenter gothic style in 1889 still has Shabbat services on the last Friday of every month.