The University as Melting Pot?

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:
The University as Melting Pot?

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This chapter traces the experience of Jewish students (women as well as men) who enrolled in Russia's institutions of higher education, moving figuratively beyond the Pale regardless of their place of study. It notes that in no other arena did selective integration, spurred by new forms of Jewish philanthropy, produce such dramatic results. It observers that unlike their counterparts in Central Europe, Jewish students in the Russian Empire typically found themselves in a remarkably open, egalitarian student milieu. It notes that by the 1880s, the rising number of secularly educated Jews had begun to recast the hierarchy of learning with the Jewish world, planting there the quintessentially, East European divide between “intelligentsia” and “folk”. Jewish students also became a lightning rod for anxieties over the growing presence of non-Russians in the empire's intelligentsia, leading in 1887 to official restrictions on the admission of Jews to secondary and postsecondary institutions.

Keywords: higher education; Pale; selective integration; Central Europe; Russian Empire; intelligentsia; folk

Chapter.  25312 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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