Origin and Destiny
1889 - Podoliers' Adventure
1894 - Grodno Group
1900-1902 The colony grows up
CONTACT comments information
AGJA- Jewish Genealogical Society of Argentina
Moises Ville's Historical Museum
Ville in Jewish Encyclopedia
Casa Argentina en Jerusalem
Haim Avni Argentina & the Jews
A History of Jewish Immigration
Ville is an agricultural colony located in the North of Santa Fe
province, Argentina, it
was founded by a group of Russian Jewish colonists who arrived in the country in
August 1889 from Kamenetz-Podolsk, Ukraine.
(so known in Yiddish) was the first agricultural Jewish settlement in South America. The 130 families – 815 persons - who founded the colony constituted the
first Jewish group in recent history to abandon Europe to establish Jewish settlements in
Argentina. They arrived in Buenos Aires aboard the steamship
to learn about their history.
Some months later a smaller group that
had already been organized by the time the first group left, arrived in Argentina.
They came mainly from Bessarabia, now Moldova. Some of the families of this group
established themselves in a place near Moises Ville called “Monigotes
la Vieja” (Old Monigotes).
Map of the zone of confinement called the “Pale of
with the sources of emigration to Moises Ville noted.
Noe Cociovich, who came to Moises Ville in 1894, related to
“Since the immigration
of the first group of Jewish pioneers from Podolia (Kamenets-Podolosk) to
Argentina, we were very anxious to know about that land. Argentina was an
unknown country, only those in academic circles had much knowledge of it.
In our district (Grodno) there was only one ‘superior’ school, and there
we could point on a map of South America to the Parana River
(accent in the middle), the mountain range that separates
Argentina from ‘Cilli’ (Chile) and named on the map with the
Russian letter ‘CA’. I remember the word ‘PAMPASI’ written on
the barely marked map of Argentina with very spacing letters…”
Baron Maurice de Hirsh founded the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA), a
colonizing organization with philanthropist basis. In the same year the JCA bought
from Dr. Pedro Palacios the rights over the lands previously sold to the colonists
of the Weser because of the colonists debt to him. During that year and the subsequent ones, many groups of Russian
Jewish with the help of the JCA arrived at the colonies that had just been founded in
the provinces of Entre Rios and Buenos Aires.
frame of the JCA’s program a group of 42
families from the Province of Grodno, nowadays Belarus also arrived to Moises Ville between 1894 and
The colonists settled in villages near to Moises Ville. These were named
after the number of houses that formed them: "The Four Houses", "The
Six Houses", "The Twelve Houses" and "The Twenty-four
Maps of "Colonie Moises
In 1900, the colonists requested the
JCA to enlarge the colony and bring new groups from the Grodno area. The request
was conveyed through the colonist Noe Cociovich who, in 1900, 1901 and 1902,
carried out several trips to Russia and assembled three groups totaling 104
families that met the JCA demands: they already had relatives in the colony and
they paid for their tickets themselves. The groups settled in the Wavelberg area,
north of Moises Ville, which had been named for the philanthropist who helped
finance the travel; in the Virginia area to the east, and in La Juanita to the
west. In 1901, another group of 31 families organized in Bialystok (current
Poland) arrived, led by the writer and Jewish leader Gdalia Bublik. The area in
which this group settled is known nowadays as Línea Bialystok (Bialystok Line). Many of the
colonists who settled in La Juanita and Bialystok later moved to the town of Las
At the same time, a group of Rumanian
families selected by the JCA arrived. This group settled in the area of Zadok
Kahn, to the west of Moises Ville. It was named in honor of the Rabbi of Paris.
Most of the colonists in that group that remained also eventually moved to Las
In 1903, soon after the
pogrom, an additional group from Bessarabia was organized. This group settled in
the Mutchnik area, northwest of Moises Ville, in the so called Línea Ortiz (Ortiz
Line). And in 1905, a group from Kherson, Ukraine, colonized the area of
Several years later was
colonized the zone of Capivara, to the northeast of Moises Ville. In the decade of the
1930's German Jews persecuted by the Nazis began to arrive, in a wave that lasted
until the beginning of World War II. After the war was over, several families of
Dutch and German refugees arrived. Most of them were sent by the JCA.
Starting from its foundation and
continuing until 1950, Moises Ville received a large number of craftsmen,
merchants and professionals from different countries of Europe and different
places within Argentina. We wish to identify all of them.
FIRST URBAN CENTER
The colonists of
the first group and perhaps some from the second, Podolia and Bessarabia, settled
in the surrounding areas of a budding urban center. As Noe Cociovich related, that
center had three precarious buildings in 1894: the synagogue, the JCA administration
house and the public baths. The colonists' houses were arranged around them along
three streets. The plots were 100 meters wide and 1,000 meters deep.
Outline based on a map included among the attachments
to the contract between Dr. Palacios and the Jewish Colonization Association in
The area identified as “BOSQUE” on
the map, currently eucalyptus grove in the center of a 1,000 x 1,000 meters
square (for those that know Moises Ville, it’s called “EL BOSQUE”), is probably
where the former urban center mentioned above was located. Among the roots of
the trees, ruins have been found that still have not been identified.
Many of the plot divisions shown in this map exist as
streets have been cleaned up along them. Some of the original houses still exist
at the front of each plot. The current urban center is
shown in gray. The map
shows the location of the current Hospital Baron Hirsch, and of the ruins of the
first milk processing plant that existed in the colony.
The first cheese factory-1898
(ruins of the basement)
195.., some years before
Copyright © 2008 Mario N. Jeifetz.