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A Home on the Range: The Jewish Chicken Ranchers of Petaluma, California

Produced and Directed by Award-Winning Filmmakers Bonnie Burt and Judith Montell

A HOME ON THE RANGE tells the little-known story of Jews who fled the pogroms and hardships of Eastern Europe and traveled to California to become chicken ranchers. Even in the sweatshops of New York, word spread about the town of Petaluma where the Jews were not the shopkeepers and the professionals, they were the farmers.


"We began to realize
that this was not just
the story of a unique,
rural community but rather...
a larger, more universal,
immigrant story. "

Jack London, California vigilantes, McCarthyism, the Cold War and agribusiness all come to life in this American story of how an immigrant group found their new home, a home on the range.

Meet this fractious, idealistic, intrepid group of Eastern European Jews and their descendants as they confront obstacles of language and culture on their journey towards becoming Americans.

The World Premiere of the movie will be at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival on July 31, 2002 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Check our screenings page for upcoming dates and locations.

Keep checking back on this site - we plan to bring you outtakes from the movie, additional historical items, and more...

Bonnie Burt also directed SONG OF A JEWISH COWBOYIf this movie interests you, you may also be interested in Bonnie's companion short piece about Petaluma's Scott Gerber, a Yiddish singing Jewish cowboy...

 
 
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