When Jewish settlement started, the Jewish Colonization Association designated a representative who acted as a general administrator, and occupied this house (which was subsequently modified). This house and the temple were the first brick buildings in the colony since the settlers’ houses were made of adobe (a type of mud) with thatched roofs.
The administrator was responsible for monitoring settler’s behavior; he used to receive comments which he would later report to the J. C. A. He was also an intermediary between the settler and the association; he would collect the annual fees and would accept -in the early stages- if the settler had been unable to pay due to a plague or bad weather conditions but eventually fulfilled his obligation with the Association. Otherwise, upon default, he was in charge of evicting debtors. He would check and control the colony and was in charge of other deputy administrators who would report to him about other distant sub-colonies.
The First Synagogue.
It was built in 1893 (Sonnenfeld) and, together with the Administrator’s house, was one of the first solid constructions made of bricks, clay, and a ridge roof. The temple had a big hall with a wall dividing the men’s area from the women until they decided to share the same room around 1960, since there were very few people attending. Some time later, the doors of the shil (temple) were closed and most valuable objects were taken to the Villa Domínguez museum; the Aron Hakodesh made in 1902, the two candlesticks brought from Russia and the lavatory at the entrance. Thus, the hall remained empty. In December 2000, the façade and the structure were recycled. It was whitened with renewed columns and the Star of David on the front.
The cemetery of Sonnenfeld was called “The Recoleta Cemetery of Colonia Clara” because many of the most relevant personalities of the area were buried there, among them: Dr Noé Yarcho, the miracle doctor; Miguel Sajaroff and Miguel Kipen, both leaders of cooperativism; León Sidi, a renowned administrative officer of the J.C.A.; Benito Bendersky, the man of literature of the Jewish colonies. There are also gravestones of several family members of Blackie, a famous journalist. One of the oldest graves is a collective grave dating back to 1894, the tragic year in which the immigrants who traveled on the steamer “Orione” caused an epidemic typhus outbreak. Among the fifty victims buried there, there was Isabel, Dr. Yarcho’s recently born daughter, whose home had been turned into a hospital. A long text in Hebrew, printed on this collective grave proves his misfortune.