Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 January 2017
This article explores the associational life of late imperial Kiev to gauge the extent of Jewish participation in the city's civil society and the nature of interethnic relations in the voluntary sphere. Natan Meir demonstrates that, despite political and societal circumstances that often discouraged positive interactions between Jews and their Russian and Ukrainian neighbors, the voluntary association made possible opportunities for constructive interethnic encounters. These opportunities included a range of experiences from full Jewish integration to a segregation of Jewish interests within the sphere of activity of a particular association. While taking into account the central role of intergroup tensions and hostility in Kiev, Meir notes that the frequency of contacts between Jews and non-Jews was higher than most scholars have assumed. By placing the case of Kiev against the larger framework of the Russian empire as well as other European states, Meir contributes to our understanding of the development of late imperial civil society and of the modern Jewish experience in the late Russian empire and across urban Europe.
The writing of this article was made possible in part by a grant from the British Academy. I am grateful to Eugene Avrutin, Jane McDermid, and David Rechter for their helpful comments, as well as to Diane P. Koenker and the two anonymous readers of Slavic Review. An earlier version was presented at the ‘Jews in Multi-Ethnic Networks” conference, Haifa University, 20 December 2004. All errors remain my own.
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6. Of course for some individuals this activity may have held the added potential of helping to combat anti-Semitism, as non-Jews witnessed the contributions of Jews to society and formed a mote positive image of them. Paula Hyman speculates that this max have been the case with Jewish women's volunteer activity in Germany. Hyman, Paula K., “Two Models of Modernization: Jewish Women in the German and the Russian Empires,” Studies in Contemporary Jewry 16 (2001): 43.Google Scholar
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17. Kohut, Zenon E., Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy: Imperial Absorption of the Hetmanate, 1760s-1830s (Cambridge, Mass, 1988).Google Scholar
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21. Institut istorii Akademiia nauk URSR, Istoriia Kieva (Kiev, 1963), 1:339.
22. Only those who gave their native language as Ukrainian were classified as ethnically “Ukrainian“; the percentage of Kievans who were ethnic Ukrainians would probably have been higher if Russian speakers had been included.
23. Izvestiia Kievskoi gorodskoi dumy, no. 5 (May 1909): 22-31; Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv (RGIA), f. 821 (Departament dukhovnykh del inostrannykh ispovedanii MVD), op. 8, d. 153, 11. 139-139ob. (“Evrei v g. Kieve“); Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi istorychnyi arkhiv Ukraïny, Kyïv (TsDIAU), f. 442 (Kantseliaria Kievskago, Podol'skago i Volynskago general-gubernatora), op. 628, spr. 388, ark. 30 (O razreshenii evreiam sovershat’ bogosluzhenie v dome Benediksa po Bibikovskomu bul'varu v g. Kieve).
24. B. Gol'dberg, “O rodnom iazyke u evreev Rossii,” Evreiskaia zhizri, no. 4 (April 1905): 77; Lestschinsky, “Di idishe bafelkerung,” 54.
25. A. P. Subbotin, Vcherte evreiskoi osedlosti: Otryvki iz ekonomicheshogo izsledovaniia v zapadnoi i iugo-zapadnoi Rossii za leto 1887g., vol. 2, Belostok, Ostropol, Polonnoe, Berdichev, Zhitomir, Kiev, Odessa (St. Petersburg, 1888), 159.
26. Subtelny, Orest, Ukraine: A History, 2d ed. (Toronto, 1994), 272 Google Scholar; Krawchenko, “Social Structure of Ukraine,” 172; Magocsi, Paul Robert, “The Ukrainian National Revival: A New Analytical Framework,” Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 16, nos. 1-2 (1989): 46 Google Scholar; Herlihy, Patricia, “Ukrainian Cities in the Nineteenth Century,” in Rudnytsky, Ivan, ed., Rethinking Ukrainian History (Edmonton, 1981), 135.Google Scholar In this sense Kiev was remarkably similar to Prague, with a significantjewish population living alongside the hegemonic nationality that was nonetheless a minority in that region of the empire (the Germans), and a “minority” group (in terms of power, not numbers) corresponding to the peasant majority in that region (the Czechs). See Cohen, Gary B., The Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague, 1861-1914 (Princeton, 1981).Google Scholar
27. Krawchenko, “Social Structure of Ukraine,” 171. Krawchenko also notes that “the larger the town … the fewer the Ukrainian inhabitants.” Ibid., 174.
28. Hamm, Kiev, 94.
29. Ibid., 106.
30. Rogger, Hans, “Conclusion and Overview,” in Klier, John D. and Lambroza, Shlomo, eds., Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History (Cambridge, Eng., 1992), 337.Google Scholar
31. See Klier, John Doyle, Russia Gathers Her Jews: The Origins of the “Jewish Question” in Russia, 1772-1825 (DeKalb, 1986), 182-87Google Scholar; Rogger, Jewish Policies; Elena M. Katz, “Representations of'thejew’ in the Writings of Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Ivan Turgenev” (PhD diss., University of Southampton, 2003).
32. While ethnic identity is a highly problematic term in this period, if identified by native language these burghers were likely to be Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, or Armenians.
33. Shmuel Ettinger, ‘Jewish Participation in the Settlement of Ukraine in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” in Peter Potichnyj and Howard Aster, eds., Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in Historical Perspective (Edmonton, 1988), 28-29; Subtelny, Ukraine: A History, 124; Frank Sysyn, “The Jewish Factor in the Khmelnytsky Uprising,” in Potichnyj and Aster, eds., Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in Historical Perspective, 48; Murray Jay Rosman, The Lords’ Jews: Magnate-Jewish Relations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, Mass, 1990). For an especially sensitive treatment of mutual perceptions, see Howard Aster and Peter J. Potichnyj, Jewish Ukrainian Relations: Two Solitudes (Oakville, Ont., 1983). A concrete illustration of Ukrainians’ resentment of Jews is the original design for the statue of Bohdan Khmel'nyts'kyi in Kiev, showing the Cossack leader's steed crushing a Polish noble and a Jewish arendator. John D. Klier, “Kievlianin and the Jews: A Decade of Disillusionment, 1864-1873,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 5, no. 1 (1982): 86-87.
34. Brower, “Urban Revolution,” 326-31.
35. Kievlianin, no. 106 (11 May 1880), and many other articles in Kievlianin in the late 1860s and 1870s; on the evolution of the newspaper's stance on the Jewish question, see Klier, Imperial Russia's Jewish Question, 182-203 (“Kiev Is Russian“), and Klier, “Kievlianin and the Jews.” See also Andrei Nikolaevich Murav'ev, “Zapiska o sokhranenii samobytnosti Kieva (Nachalo 1870-kh gg.),” Iehupets 5 (1999): 259-67.
36. TsDIAU, f. 442, op. 50, spr. 302, ark. 1-6 (Delo o zapreshchenii meshchanam evreiskago veroispovedaniia priobresti uchastok zemli okolo tserkvi Rozhdestvo Khristova na Podole); RGIA, f. 821, op. 9, d. 97, 11. 8-9 (Po voprosu o razreshenii evreiam zhit’ vo vsekh chastiakh g. Kieva).
37. Magocsi, , “Ukrainian National Revival“; Ivan Rudnytsky, “The Intellectual Origins of Modern Ukraine,” in Rudnytsky, Ivan, ed., Essays in Modern Ukrainian History (Edmonton, 1987), 123-41.Google Scholar
38. For a summary of statements by seminal Ukrainian thinkers on the Jewish question, see Ivan Rudnytsky, “Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in Nineteenth-Century Ukrainian Political Thought,” in Potichnyj and Aster, eds., Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in Historical Perspective, 69-83. For discussions of these issues in the Ukrainian press, see “Evreis'ka sprava i ukraïns'ki techii,” Slovo, no. 6 (1909), and S. O. Efremov, Evreis'ka sprava na Ukraïni (Odbytokz “Rady“) (Kiev, 1909).
39. See, for example, most issues of Khronika evreiskoi zhizni in 1906.
40. Yury Boshyk, “Between Socialism and Nationalism: Jewish-Ukrainian Political Relations in Imperial Russia, 1900-1917,” in Potichnyj and Aster, eds., Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in Historical Perspective, 177.
41. Hamm, Kiev, 251w63, and 109; this is also attested to in a history of the Zionist movement written by two secret police officials in TsDIAU, f. 274, op. 1, spr. 2444 (Spravka Departamenta politsii po istorii sionistskago dvizheniia). The Spilka was a Marxist party that rejected nationalism as a meaningful political category of analysis. See Paul R. Magocsi, .4 History of Ukraine (Toronto, 1996), 279.
42. Khronika evreiskoi zhizni, no. 18 (10 May 1906): 26-29.
43. McReynolds and Popkin, “The Objective Eye and the Common Good,” 66.
44. This discussion is based on annual reports of the society from 1896 through 1906: Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za … god (Kiev, 1896-1906). See also Hamm, Kiev, 165-66.
45. The library was the most popular in the city. By contrast, the most heavily visited of the municipal libraries received about 30,000 visits per year. Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otrhet za 1902 god (Kiev, 1903), 87.
46. Ibid., 88-89.
47. Hamm, Kiev, 165-66.
48. Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za 1899 god (Kiev, 1900). The society had to receive official permission for each Ukrainian play that it put on. Among those authorized were “Natalka Poltavka” and “Zaporozhskyy klad.” Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za 1903 god (Kiev, 1904), 65-66.
49. Kievskie otkliki, no. 2 (2 January 1906): 1; Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za 1903 god (Kiev, 1904), 65.
50. Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za 1906 god (Kiev, 1907), 2.
51. Sistematicheskii ukazatel’ zhurnala “Kievskaia starina” (1882-1906 gg.) (Poltava, 1911); “Evrei kozaki v nachale XVII veka,” Kievskaia starina 5 (1890): 377-79; I. V. Galant, “Kistorii uman'skoi rezni 1768 g.,” Kievskaia starina 11 (1895): 209-29. See also I. Galant, Kistorii Uman'skoi Rezni 1768 goda (Kiev, 1908).
52. See Vitalii Kovalyns'kyi, Sem'ia Tereshchenko (Kiev, 2003).
53. While educational institutions are not usually considered an element of civil society because they are controlled by the government, there was an element of voluntary activity involved in the late imperial period because so many private schools and institutes were founded in those years by individuals or groups of one kind or anodier. These institutions were often under die official supervision of a government ministry but direct control was at a minimum.
54. See an 1891 memorandum from the Economic Department of the Ministry of Interior in RGIA, f. 821, op. 8, d. 108, 11. 143-47 (Delo ob ustanovlenii novago poriadka deiatel'nosti evreiskikh blagotvoritel'nykh obshchestv i po voprosu o vozmozhnosti uprazdneniia evreiskikh pogrebal'nykh bratstv).
55. Nedel'naia khronika Voskhoda, no. 24 (13 June 1899): 731; Izvestiia Kievskoi gorodskoi dumy, no. 6 (June 1906).
56. Kievskaia gorodskaia uchilishchnaia komissiia, Otchet Kievskoi gorodskoi uchilishchnoi komissii za 1909g. (Kiev, 1911).
57. Evreiskii mir, no. 33 (9 December 1910): 26.
58. Nathans provides a comprehensive analysis of the numerus clausus and its impact on the course of Jewish integration in Beyond the Pale, chap. 7.
59. Voskhod, no. 74 (24 September 1900): 11.
60. Khronika evreiskoi zhizni, no. 31 (10 August 1906): 30.
61. Nedel'naia khronika Voskhoda, no. 44 (24 October 1899): 1386.
62. Kievskie vesti, no. 55 (24 February 1910).
63. Ha-melits, no. 88 (23 April 1895): 2; Ha-melits, no. 98 (4 May 1895): 1-2.
64. TsDIAU, f. 442, op. 661, spr. 273, ark. 29-30zv (Ob uregulirovanii blagotvoritel'nykh uchrezhdeniiakh v Kievskoi gubernii).
65. The Jewish initiators were members of the Literacy Society, but it is unclear whether the Jewish activists working together with the Society of Day Shelters were members of that society.
66. Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet voskresnykh shkol za 1899-1900-i god (Kiev, 1901). The Jewish presence was nonexistent or negligible in the society's four other Sunday literacy schools.
67. Voskhod, no. 15 (13 April 1897): 426; Obshchestvo dnevnykh priiutov dlia detei rabochego klassa, Otchet za 1900 god (Kiev, 1900); Voskhod, no. 51-52 (25 December 1897): 1435; Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za 1898 god (Kiev, 1899).
68. Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za 1901 god (Kiev 1902), 85.
69. Kievskoe popechitel'stvo o narodnoi trezvosti, Otchet o sostoianii vechernikh klassov dlia vzroslykh s l ianvaria 1904 po l ianvaria 1906 g. (Kiev, 1906).
70. Ha-melits, no. 58 (2 August 1885): 937; Die Judenpogrome in Russland (Cologne, 1910), 2:348.
71. Voskhod, no. 9 (4 February 1901): 20; Obshchestvo Popecheniia o bednykh remeslennykh i rabochikh evreiakh g. Kieva, Otchet za 1907 god (Kiev, 1908), vi-viii.
72. Voskhod, no. 50 (12 December 1902): 37.
73. For more on the Rossiiskoe obshchestvo zashchity zhenshchin, see Hamm, Kiev, 160.
74. Kievskoe otdelenie rossiiskago obshchestva zashchity zhenshchin, Otchet za 1912 god (Kiev, 1913), 37. It is unclear which organizations are being referred to, as the Kiev Literacy Society and Prosvita had been closed several years earlier, in 1908 and 1910, respectively. The Kiev branch of the Jewish Enlightenment Society had not been shut down.
75. Kievskoe otdelenie rossiiskago obshchestva zashchity zhenshchin, Otchet za 1912 g, 7, 19.
76. Otdel popecheniia ob evreiskikh devushkakh i zhenshchinakh g. Kieva pri Kievskom otdelenii rossiiskago obshchestva zashchity zhenshchin, Otchet za 1914 g. (god pervyi) (Kiev, 1915).
77. Evreiskaia entsiklopediia (1906-13), s.v. “Sankt-Peterburg.“
78. Aster and Potichnyj write that “although the jury of Ukrainian peasants found Beilis innocent the trial itself legitimized and perpetuated the perception of the Jew as a threatening figure in the minds of the people.” Aster and Potichnyj, Jewish Ukrainian Relations, 56.
79. Hamm, Kiev, 138.
80. For example, the governor-general closed a shoemakers’ society because it was majority Jewish. See Evreiskii narod, no. 6 (22 November 1906): 23.
81. TsDIAU, f. 442, op. 636, spr. 647, ch. 1, ark. 252-60, 554-66 (Ob obshchestvakh i soiuzakh, utverzhdennykh na osnovanii zakona 4-go marta 1906 g.).
82. Haram, Kiev, 212; TsDIAU, f. 442, op. 636, spr. 647, ch. 8, ark. 689, 893.
83. Kiever vort, no. 2 (3 January 1910) and no. 9 (11 January 1910).
84. TsDIAU, f. 442, op. 636, spr. 647, ch. 3, ark. 704-12; DAKO (Derzhavnyi arkhiv Kyïvs'koï oblasti), f. 10 (Kievskoe gubernskoe po delam ob obshchestvakh prisutstvie), op. 1, spr. 129, ark. 19zv, 32 (O registratsii Kievskago Podol'skago obshchestvennago kluba); Kiever vort, no. 6 (5 January 1910).
85. A similar club existed in Odessa in the 1860s. See Zipperstein, Jews of Odessa, 110.
86. Kievskoe obshchestvennoe sobranie, Otchet za 1910-1911 g. (Kiev, 1911).
87. Kievskoe obshchestvennoe sobranie, Otchet za 1915g. (Kiev, 1916).
88. E. E. Friedmann, Sefer ha-zikhronot (Tel Aviv, 1926), 2:363-64.
89. TsDIAU, f. 442, op. 636, spr. 647, ch. 8, ark. 224-29, 374-84, 906. The constitution of the Kievskii russkii obshchestvennyi klub does not explain the use of the descriptor “Russian” (in the ethnic, not the all-imperial sense) in the name.
90. Kievskii telegraf, no. 12 (29 January 1865): 2.
91. Kiever vort, no. 1 (1 January 1910).
92. Kievskoe slovo, no. 3595 (13 January 1898).
93. Balaguly was used in the 1874 Kiev census. Iugo-Zapadnoe otdelenie Imperatorskago russkago geograficheskago obshchestva, Kiev i ego predmestiia (Kiev, 1875). A reference to marvikher can be found in Kievskoe slovo, no. 3585 (3 January 1898).
94. Ha-melits, no. 108 (17 May 1896): 3-4; Kievskoe obshchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za 1906 god (Kiev, 1907).
95. Thomas C. Owen, “Impediments to a Bourgeois Consciousness in Russia, 1880-1905: The Estate Structure, Ethnic Diversity, and Economic Regionalism,” in Clowes, Kassow, and West, eds., Between Tsar and People, 84-85.
96. Ha-melits, no. 223 (23 October 1898): 2.
97. For an analysis of Russian government policy in the Ukrainian provinces and nationalist responses, see Weeks, Nation and State in Late Imperial Russia. For the Russian right, see Hans Rogger, “The Formation of the Russian Right: 1900-06,” in Rogger, Jewish Policies, 188-211.
98. Rogger, “Conclusion and Overview,” in Klier and Lambroza, eds., Pogroms, 342.
99. Robert Edelman, “The Russian Nationalist Party and the Political Crisis of 1909,” Russian Review 34, no. 1 (January 1975): 33-34.
100. Kievskoe russkoe sobranie, Otchet o sostoianii s dekabria 1911 goda po l ianvaria 1914 goda (Kiev, 1914). For more on the national Russian Assembly, see Rogger Jewish Policies, 191-93.
101. Kievskoe russkoe sobranie, Otchet o sostoianii s dekabria 1911 goda po l ianvaria 1914 goda.
102. TsDIAU, f. 442, op. 636, spr. 647, ch. 8, ark. 224-29, 374-84, 906.
103. Khronika evreiskoi zhizni, no. 32 (17 August 1906): 24; Hamm, Kiev, 204-5.
104. Novyi voskhod, no. 11 (15 March 1912): 11-12.
105. Novyi voskhod, no. 14 (5 April 1912): 21.
106. Lindemann, Albert S., The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (Dreyfus, Beilis, Frank), 1894-1915 (Cambridge, Eng., 1991), 187.Google Scholar
107. See, for example, Nedel'naia khronika Voskhoda, no. 23 (5 June 1894) and no. 60 (21 October 1901).
108. Kievskoe obschchestvo gramotnosti, Otchet za 1905 god (Kiev, 1906).
109. Rogger, “Conclusion and Overview,” in Klier and Lambroza, eds., Pogroms, 342.
110. Hamm, Kiev, 194-96.
111. Kievskoe slovo (9 November 1905), quoted in Viktor Gusev, “Bund i ievreis'ki pohromy v 1905 roku,” in Ievreis'ka istoriia la kuitura v Ukraïni: Materialy konfeientsiï, 2-5 veresnia 1996 (Kiev, 1997), 36.
112. Khronika evreiskoi zhizni, no. 20 (25 May 1906).
113. Evreiskii mir, no. 12 (25 March 1910): 24; Khronika evreiskoi zhizni, no. 7 (21 February 1906): 25.
114. Evreiskii narod, no. 8 (8 December 1906).
115. Evreiskii mix, no. 3 (21 January 1910): 30; Kiever vort, no. 6 (5January 1910).
116. See, for example, Mosse, Werner E., “The Revolution of 1848: Jewish Emancipation in Germany and Its Limits,” in Mosse, Werner E., Paucker, Arnold, and Riirup, Reinhard, eds., Revolution and Evolution: 1848 in German-Jewish History (Tübingen, 1981), 389–401.Google Scholar Eli Lederhendler also rejects “a theory of Eastern European exceptionalism” in his “Modernity without Emancipation or Assimilation? The Case of Russian Jewry,” in Jonathan Frankel and Steven J. Zipperstein, eds., Assimilation and Community: The Jews in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Cambridge, Eng., 1992), 324-43.
117. Jonathan Frankel, “Assimilation and the Jews in Nineteenth-Century Europe: Towards a New Historiography?” in Frankel and Zipperstein, eds., Assimilation and Community, 22.
118. Foon, Chew Sock, “On the Incompatibility of Ethnic and National Loyalties: Reframing the Issue,” Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 13, no. 1 (1986): 1–11 Google Scholar, cited in Magocsi, “Ukrainian National Revival,” 51.
119. Murav, Identity Theft, 190. Murav and Safran both explore the ways in which Jewish acculturation destabilized and subverted “the idea of the innateness of identity, whether religious, national, or personal.” Safran, Rewriting the Jew, 193.
120. David Sorkin calls this “parallel sociability.” David Sorkin, “Religious Reforms and Secular Trends in German-Jewish Life: An Agenda for Research,” Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 40 (1995): 182. See also Sorkin, David Jan, The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780-1840 (New York, 1987), 113-14Google Scholar; Katz, Jacob, Out of the Ghetto: The Social Background of Jeiuish Emancipation, 1770-1870 (New York, 1978), 177 Google Scholar; Liedtke, Rainer, Jewish Welfare in Hamburg and Manchester, c. 1850-1914 (Oxford, 1998), 10–12 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Schüler-Springorum, Stefanie, “Assimilation and Community Reconsidered: The Jewish Community in Königsburg, 1871-1914,“ Jewish Social Studies, n.s. 5, no. 3 (1999): 107, 110Google Scholar; Zipperstein, Jews of Odessa, 110; Rozenblit, Marsha L., The Jews of Vienna, 1867-1914: Assimilation and Identity (Albany, 1983).Google Scholar
121. See, for example, Liedtke, Jewish Welfare, 10-12.
122. On associational life among German Jews, see David Sorkin, “The Impact of Emancipation on German Jewry: A Reconsideration,” in Frankel and Zipperstein, eds., Assimilation and Community, 177-98. Women played a particularly important role in the new Jewish associations, especially those in the realm of welfare. “Although German-Jewish women were prominent in the work of the non-sectarian German women's movement and in the advancement of social work, the majority of organized Jewish women remained within Jewish local or national organizations.” Marion Kaplan, “Gender and Jewish History in Imperial Germany,” in Frankel and Zipperstein, eds., Assimilation and Community, 218. See also Kaplan, Marion A., The Making of the Jewish Middle Class: Women, Family, and Identity in Imperial Germany (New York, 1991), 192 Google Scholar, and Natan M. Meir, “Mnogostoronnost’ evreiskoi blagotvoritel'nosti sredi evreev Kieva, 1859-1914 gg.,” Ab Imperio 4 (2003): 185-216.
123. Cohen, Politics of Ethnic Survival, 175-76.
125. Novyi voskhod, no. 37 (13 September 1912). On the Jewish policy in the last years of the empire, see Rogger's “The Jewish Policy of Late Tsarism: A Reappraisal,” in his Jewish Policies, 25-39.
126. In the realm of politics, too, many Jews found it more and more difficult to remain active in all-imperial liberal parties and groupings, or at least to do so without also contributing their energies to specifically Jewish liberal groups as well (such as the Union for the Attainment of Equal Rights for the Jewish People in Russia. See schmidt, Christoph Gassen, Jewish Liberal Politics in Tsarist Russia, 1900-1914: The Modernization of Russian Jewry (New York, 1995), esp. 19–44.Google Scholar
127. Bradley, “Subjects into Citizens,” 1105.
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