Brown, Benjamin

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BROWN, BENJAMIN (1885–1939), organizer of U.S. Jewish farm cooperatives. Brown was born in Tulchin, Russia. He immigrated to the United States in 1901 and studied at Philadelphia. Moving to Utah, Brown was president from 1909 to 1915 of the Jewish Agricultural and Colonial Association, which sponsored a farm settlement in the central part of the state, after which he continued to be active in the cooperative movement in Utah, Idaho, and the Pacific Northwest. In 1929 he traveled to Russia as part of an American commission to act in an advisory capacity to Jewish agricultural settlers in Birobidzhan. Upon his return he served as chairman of the Provisional Commission for the Establishment of Jewish Farm Settlements in the United States. In 1936 Brown was instrumental in founding the New Jersey Homestead, a cooperative Jewish settlement near Heightstown, New Jersey. The project was discontinued in 1939, the year of his death.