In 1892, a group of Russian Jewish immigrants established the New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society in Chesterfield, Connecticut. They built a one-room wooden synagogue and created a thriving rural Jewish community in the Chesterfield-Salem-Oakdale area. Although that Jewish community is now gone, the descendants of those early immigrants reactivated the Society in 2006 in order to preserve the remains of the community’s historic site in Chesterfield and to honor the memories of our ancestors who established a new life in America.
Explore our materials that present the community’s history in a number of ways: a text summary and interactive timeline of the early community; a virtual tour of the historic site as it looks today; an archive of historic photos; and a summary of what the reactivated Society is doing today to research the history of the Chesterfield Jewish community and preserve the historic site.
Learn about the history of the Chesterfield-Salem-Oakdale Jewish community and the New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society.
View the NEHFES timeline, including historic newspaper articles, photos and documents from the Chesterfield-Salem-Oakdale Jewish community.
Take our interactive tour of the NEHFES historic site, including the stone remains of the synagogue, mikveh, and creamery.
View our online photo albums of early Jewish Chesterfield sites and family members, along with more recent photos of those historic sites today.