Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Modern School, 2018 

A PDF of this announcement is available here.

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Modern School this year will again be co-sponsored by Rutgers Libraries. The gathering will begin with a musical theater performance followed by a speaker and lunch. This year will mark our 46th annual gathering of the Friends. It will be held from 12:00 to 4:00 PM on Saturday, September 15, 2018 in the Remigo U. Pane Room in the Alexander Library, Rutgers University. The building and room are accessible for the disabled. Directions and parking availability are given on page 2. There is a $20 entrance fee to cover the cost of the presentations and refreshments.

This year’s gathering features Vivian Nesbitt in the musical theater performance of Mother Jones In Heaven. The show includes musical accompaniment by John Dillon in Si Kahn’s one-woman musical about the infamous labor organizer famed for her tireless efforts on behalf of the rights of the working class. Feared, revered and lauded in song and story, Mother Jones was “the grandmother of all agitators.” At a time when issues that unions stand for, like safe working conditions, fair pay and equal rights are under attack, the play stands as a reminder that the fight is far from over.

Our program will also include a talk by Amanda Kolson Hurley on her research into radical suburbs, which includes the Stelton Ferrer Colony. Amanda is a writer who focuses on architecture and urban issues. She is a senior editor at CityLab, the city-focused publication of The Atlantic. Her writing has appeared in Architectural Record, Foreign Policy, Wallpaper, The American Scholar, and The Washington Post, among other publications. She won the Sarah Booth Conroy Prize for architectural journalism in 2017. Her forthcoming book, Radical Suburbs, will be released in April 2019. Hurley lives with her family in Silver Spring, Md.


The Friends of the Modern School are active in preserving the idea of freedom in education that was the hallmark of the teaching in Modern Schools and in preserving the history of the Modern School Ferrer Colony. The school was part of the colony and the colony part of the school. The Friends work with interested historians and faculty at Rutgers and other nearby universities and colleges. Lately there has been much interest in projects related to the history of the Goldman House on School Street and in former founders, teachers and other persons associated with the school. We maintain a memorial marker at 79 School Street. Much of this work, including expenses for our 46th gathering that is discussed in this announcement, require funding and we ask you to help us with our expenses.


Please consider a donation to help us out with our projects. Also, we still have copies of a book we published in 2007 entitled Recollections from the Modern School Ferrer Colony. It is by Victor Sacharoff, who attended the Modern School in the 1920s, with contributions from many others who attended the school. If you want a copy send $20 to Jon Scott at the address below. Please write only one check or money order if you purchase a book and also donate to the Friends. Write your check, payable to “Friends of the Modern School” and send it to: Friends of the Modern School, c/o Alexander Khost, Secretary, 65 Willoughby Ave #D4, Brooklyn, NY 11205.


Coming from the North or South on the New Jersey Turnpike get off at Exit 9 and take NJ 18 North. Go past the “George St.” exit to Douglas College and follow the signs “to Rutgers University George Street.” At that intersection turn right onto George Street. At the next intersection take a left onto Huntington St. and after a block take a left on College Avenue. The Alexander Library will be on your left and the Pane Room is on the first floor.

Coming on Interstate 287 from the North or South, get off on Easton Ave. (Rt. 527). Proceed through seven traffic lights and at the eighth turn left onto Huntington St. Continue three blocks, and take a right on to College Avenue. The library will be on your left.

Free Parking is available without permits in the College Avenue Deck (enter from George Street) or in the large lot behind the College Avenue gym.

Respectively Submitted,
Alexander Khost, Secretary