Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial by Benjamin Nathans

By Benjamin Nathans

A stunning variety of Jews lived, actually and figuratively, "beyond the light" of Jewish payment in tsarist Russia in the course of the half-century earlier than the Revolution of 1917. due to the supply of long-closed Russian documents, besides a variety of different resources, Benjamin Nathans reinterprets the heritage of the Russian-Jewish encounter.In the wake of Russia's "Great Reforms," Nathans writes, a coverage of selective integration influenced social and geographic mobility one of the empire's Jews. The response that culminated, towards the flip of the century, in ethnic regulations on admission to universities, the professions, and different associations of civil society mirrored large anxieties that Russians have been being put at a drawback of their personal empire. Nathans's conclusions concerning the results of selective integration and the Russian-Jewish come upon in this formative interval can be of serious curiosity to all scholars of contemporary Jewish and sleek Russian heritage.

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Among the archival materials are a large number of petitions submitted to the tsarist government by Jews of nearly every conceivable stripe, correspondence between representatives of Jewish communities and local officials, communal records (pinkasim), interministerial correspondence regarding Jewish issues, unpublished data gathered by the state, police surveillance reports, minutes of the meetings of various official “Jewish Committees” whose task it was to guide official policy concerning Jews, and private papers (including letters) of individual Jews and Jewish organizations.

22. The committees were convened in 1802–4, 1806–7, 1809–12, and 1823–25. See Iulii Gessen, “Evreiskie komitety,” in Evreiskaia entsiklopediia, 7: 441–44, and Klier, Russia Gathers Her Jews, pp. 120–32, 148–50, 162–67, 181. 32 emancipation under the old regime Figure 1. Count Pavel Dmitrievich Kiselev (1788–1872). 23 To understand what was purportedly “fundamental” about the committee’s approach, we must turn to its founding document, a memorandum by Kiselev from 1840 that outlines the Jews’ current condition and the means 23.

F. De-Pulé (1868) Russian Jewry will justifiably consider the last one hundred years the Gintsburg century. g. b. sliozberg, Baron G. O. 1 Why was this so? The first historians to investigate the issue systematically were Russian Jews in the decades before 1917 who were themselves victims of official discrimination. Their works emphasized the distinctiveness of tsarist policy toward the Jews as compared to the treatment of the empire’s other ethnic and religious groups, citing specifically anti-Jewish motives among ruling elites as the prime cause.

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