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Rachel Calof's Story


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Development of Jewish Farm Settlements in the Heartland and North Dakota
My Story-A Life Worth Living by Rachel Bella Calof
Epilogue by Jacob Calof
Rachel Calof's Life as Collective History by Elizabeth Jameson

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Rachel Bella Calof defies the nostalgia of the cheerful "Little House on the Prairie" homestead; her story is instead one of real families handling daily stresses, competing needs, and interpersonal accommodations.

About the Author

J. SANFORD RIKOON is Research Associate Professor in the Department of Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the author of Threshing in the Midwest, 1820-1940. ELIZABETH JAMESON, Associate Professor of History at the University of New Mexico, is co-editor of The Women's West.


I came upon Laura Ingalls Wilder's prairie stories as an adult, while reading them to my son. I was as captivated by Rachel Calof's autobiography Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains . . . which I read in one sitting, mesmerized by a Jewish pioneer spirit as strong and as compelling as that of her Christian counterpart. . . . This beautifully written testament is a reminder that we have much to bless, every day, for a world with washing machines and sewage systems and separate rooms to put mothers-in-law.Fall 2009

-- C. Devora (Viva) Hammer * Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University *

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