Berman E. Participation of the Irkutsk Jewish community members in the work of the Jewish historical and ethnographic society (1909–1914)

E. Berman - Irkutsk National Research Technical University Irkutsk, Russian Federation ORCID: 0000-0002-3374-161X


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ABSTRACT. The article examines the poorly studied topic of the participation of the Irkutsk Jewish community members in the work of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society. This academic organization was established in 1908 in St. Petersburg. As the society did not have branches and assumed direct nonresident membership, by 1914 it consisted of representatives from 100 cities of Europe and Russian Empire, including members from Irkutsk. In Irkutsk, everyone interested joined the society directly, so there were no documents associated with their membership in the organization and the work of the society was not covered in the local press. In this regard, it appeared to be not possible to find any written evidence of the work of the members of the Irkutsk Jewish community in this organization either in the State Archive of the Irkutsk Region or in the libraries of Irkutsk. The study draws mainly upon the materials found in the journals Jewish Antiquity from 1909–1915, reports of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society from 1909–1914 and the book by V. S. Voitinsky and A. Ya. Gornstein Jews in Irkutsk (1915), as well as in the Central State Historical Archive of St. Petersburg from the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society Foundation. The article systematizes the lists of members of the Irkutsk society and identifies their quantitative composition by year from 1909 to 1914. It considers the reasons for the high activity of the representatives of the Irkutsk Jewish community in this and other Russian Jewish academic, cultural and charity organizations. In addition, the article explores the social status of the members of the society. It focuses particularly on the merits of some of the main activists and specific examples of their work in preserving Jewish history and culture in Irkutsk.


DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2020-2(8)-103-116
УДК 94(=41 1 . 16) (57 1 .53)


KEYWORDS: Jewish historical and ethnographic society, Jewish Antiquity magazine, pre-revolutionary Jewish societies in Russia, Jews of Siberia, Irkutsk Jewish community, ethnography, Jewish merchants, gold miners of Transbaikalia



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