19 Facts About Russian Jewish


Largest group among Russian Jews are Ashkenazi Jews, but the community includes a significant proportion of other non-Ashkenazi from other Jewish diaspora including Mountain Jews, Sephardi Jews, Crimean Karaites, Krymchaks, Bukharan Jews and Georgian Jews.

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Russia's Russian Jewish population is still the third biggest in Europe, after France and United Kingdom.

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Russian Jewish had extraordinary knowledge of foreign languages and served as the chief translator in the Russian Foreign Office, subsequently he began to accompany Tsar Peter on his international travels.

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Russian Jewish people were restricted to residence within the Pale and were required to obtain special permission to immigrate into other parts of Russia.

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Each year, the Russian Jewish community had to supply four recruits per thousand of the population.

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However, in practice, Russian Jewish children were often conscripted as young as eight or nine years old.

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The official Russian policy was to encourage the conversion of Jewish cantonists to the state religion of Orthodox Christianity and Jewish boys were coerced to baptism.

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Polish Catholic boys were subject to similar pressure to convert and assimilate as the Russian Jewish Empire was hostile to Catholicism and Polish nationalism.

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Large-scale wave of anti-Russian Jewish pogroms swept Ukraine in 1881, after Jews were scapegoated for the assassination of Alexander II.

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The restrictions placed on education, traditionally highly valued in Russian Jewish communities, resulted in ambition to excel over the peers and increased emigration rates.

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Some leading Bolsheviks were Ethnic Jews, and Bolshevism supports a policy of promoting international proletarian revolution—most notably in the case of Leon Trotsky—many enemies of Bolshevism, as well as contemporary antisemites, draw a picture of Communism as a political slur at Jews and accuse Jews of pursuing Bolshevism to benefit Russian Jewish interests, reflected in the terms Russian Jewish Bolshevism or Judeo-Bolshevism.

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All this leads historian Elissa Bemporad to conclude that this “very ordinary Russian Jewish city” was in the 1920s “one of the world capitals of Yiddish language and culture.

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Besides, an unofficial Russian Jewish quota was introduced in the leading institutions of higher education by subjecting Russian Jewish applicants to harsher entrance examinations.

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The central Russian Jewish organization is the Federation of Russian Jewish Communities of the CIS under the leadership of Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar.

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EuroStars young adults program provides Russian Jewish learning and social activities in 32 cities across Russia.

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Large Russian Jewish communities include Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City; Fair Lawn and nearby areas in Bergen County, New Jersey; Bucks and Montgomery Counties near Philadelphia; Pikesville, Maryland, a predominantly-Jewish suburb of Baltimore; Washington Heights in the Sunny Isles Beach neighborhood of South Florida; Skokie and Buffalo Grove, suburbs of Chicago; and West Hollywood, California.

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Notable Russian Jewish residents include judoka Mark Berger, ice hockey player Eliezer Sherbatov, voice actress Tara Strong, and the musical group Tasseomancy.

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Hundreds of Russian Jews have moved to Finland since 1990 and have helped to stem the negative population growth of the Jewish community there.

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The addition of Russian Jews have neutralized the negative Jewish population trends in some European countries like the Netherlands and Austria.

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