Hello and welcome to the website of the New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society!
We are exceptionally proud that our "NEHFES Synagogue and Creamery Site" was named Connecticut's 24th State Archaeological Preserve in 2007,(see photo, right) and (see update, below, right) the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012!
Our rather prestigious name is close to one suggested in 1891 by Arthur Reichow, an agent of the Baron de Hirsch Fund in New York City, to replace "Society Agudas Achim" (A Community of Brothers), the name for a small group of industrious Russian Jewish immigrants who left Brooklyn under the leadership of Harris Kaplan in and found their way to Chesterfield, Connecticut in 1890. Reichow thought a more sophisticated name would better position their efforts in Connecticut and New England.
Because the formation "of the Emanuel Society" really has no historic precedent, we have recently come to believe that these words were added on in order to created the "acronym" "NEHFES." With one more "h" it would spell the word "nefesh" - which, in Hebrew, means soul or spirit.
Currently, our small but dedicated descendant/members reside in 15 states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin and Canada, and represent 17 of the perhaps 50 NEHFES families that lived in Chesterfield's Russian Jewish Immigrant community from 1890 until the late 1930's.
Read our history and look at the NEHFES names page gleaned from the Town of Montville land records and from our precious hand-written Yiddish Ledger and Minutes Book. Perhaps you'll discover your great-great-grandfather's name and join us in our efforts to preserve our precious historic site and legacy, a special chapter in Connecticut and in the American Jewish Experience for future generations!
Nancy R. Savin, President
February 15, 2014
NEHFES, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit religious organization, was incorporated in the State of Connecticut on October 19, 2006.
All contributions are fully deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Dedicated on September 29, 1986, our historic bronze and granite monument is located at the intersection of Routes161 and 85 in Chesterfield, Connecticut.
See the New York Times article fronm that day on the "links" page.