Conflict and Community

Benjamin Nathans

in Beyond the Pale

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780520208308
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931299 | DOI:
Conflict and Community

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter turns to the struggle over the formation of Jewish communal institutions in the imperial capital, including its first synagogue. It observes that social and religious tensions already present among Jews in the Pale rapidly came to the surface in a series of debates over communal authority, financing, and religious practice. It notes that a bewildering array of tsarist bureaucratic offices had a hand in regulating the communal affairs of Petersburg Jewry. It observes that over time, and depending on the personalities involved, the constraints and pressures applied to Jewish communal life varied, but as with official Jewish policy as a whole, certain broad contours are discernible. It notes that in essence, these amounted to an attempt to strip Jewish life in the capital of all elements not directly related to religious ritual.

Keywords: Jewish communal institutions; synagogue; Pale; communal authority; religious practice; tsarist bureaucratic offices; Petersburg Jewry

Chapter.  17286 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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