Jews as Mainers: Jewish Contributions to Maine's Culture

'Carrying Water' book cover, Waterville, 1997

'Carrying Water' book cover, Waterville, 1997
Item 56915   info
Colby College Special Collections

To Linda Tatelbaum, the process of canning is no different from her efforts to maintain and protect Maine's wildlife.

In Carrying Water as a Way of Life, she describes how by reusing the same jars she continues her sustainable way of life: "I feed them. They feed me." These ideas are central to the Back to the Land Movement, which was picking up steam in U.S. by the 1960s.

Maine was a popular locale for those inclined to live off of the land. Linda Tatelbaum and her husband, Kal Winer, Jewish professors from out of state, had such an inclination and in 1977 purchased a 75-acre plot of land in Appleton.

For Tatelbaum and Winer, moving to Maine became just as much about protecting the land as it was about living on it. These two Jews, like many others, found that just fitting in was not enough.

They started their lives in Maine by living fully off the land, first in a one-room cabin Winer built.

Tatelbaum and Winer have also worked to protect Maine's environment. They were involved with projects designed to maintain Maine's ecosystems, and Tatelbaum published several books about living off the land and the importance of protecting the environment.

Winer and Tatelbaum have worked for many years now to strengthen the Back to the Land movement, whose idea of close-knit community life fits in well with Maine's culture.

In this way, they have contributed something very Maine to the community, but also have worked outside of it in order to ensure that others can enjoy the same lifestyle of living off the land.

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