January 29, 1861: Kansas became the 34th state of the Union. One of the unique aspects of the history of the Jews of Kansas was the Jewish agricultural colonies that were established on the High Plains during the 1880’s. The Jewish Agriculturists’ Aid Society of America included seven Jewish agricultural colonies in places with such Biblical and/or Jewish names as Beersheba, Montefiore, Lasker, Leeser, and Touro, Gilead and Hebron. For more about this interesting attempt to create what Zionists would come to call “The New Jew in America’s Heartland” see “Jewish Farming Communities Enriched Kansas Cultural Heritage” at http://www.kshs.org/features/feat1201.htm. Today, there is a thriving Jewish Community in Kansas, much of it centered in Overland Park – a Kansas City suburb.
Pictured today for your enjoyment is a block of 4 United States stamps from the 1974 Rural America series, commemorating Kansas Hard Winter Wheat (Scott No. 1506).