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Everyday Jewish Life in Imperial Russia
Select Documents, 1772–1914
ChaeRan Y. Freeze, ed.; Jay M. Harris, ed.

The Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry

2013 • 664 pp. 7 x 10"
Jewish History / Russian & Soviet History / History - Reference / European History

$40.00 Paperback, 978-1-61168-455-1
$95.00 Hardcover, 978-1-58465-302-8

$39.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-456-8

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Cloth edition is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

“The variety of sources, the novelty of topics, and the rich explanatory notes should make this book useful to both beginning students and advanced scholars. It is hard to imagine that anything similar will appear in the foreseeable future. It is essential for any reader interested in Jewish religious life and Jewish life in general in the Czarist Empire.” —Religious Studies Review

An astounding compilation of primary source documents dealing with all aspects of Jewish daily life in the Russian empire

This book makes accessible—for the first time in English—declassified archival documents from the former Soviet Union, rabbinic sources, and previously untranslated memoirs, illuminating everyday Jewish life as the site of interaction and negotiation among and between neighbors, society, and the Russian state, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to World War I. Focusing on religion, family, health, sexuality, work, and politics, these documents provide an intimate portrait of the rich diversity of Jewish life. By personalizing collective experience through individual life stories—reflecting not only the typical but also the extraordinary—the sources reveal the tensions and ruptures in a vanished society. An introductory survey of Russian Jewish history from the Polish partitions (1772–1795) to World War I combines with prefatory remarks, textual annotations, and a bibliography of suggested readings to provide a new perspective on the history of the Jews of Russia.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements:

“This massive volume contains a fascinating collection of documents exploring every aspect of quotidian life for Jews in Imperial Russia. The topics include relations within families (marriage, divorce, sex, diet, hygiene, parenthood), within the Jewish community (religious questions, education, commerce, etc.), and with the Russian community and government at large (conscription, Jewish life in the army, pogroms, petitions, etc.). The types of documents are similarly diverse and include diaries, memoirs, letters, responsa, newspaper articles and advertisements, court transcripts, government reports and vital records. Suitable for scholars, this book will also interest lay people who just want to dabble in the chapters. Highly recommended.”—Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

“This collection is an indispensable resource for scholars and university students of all levels in modern Jewish history and Russian history. The editors bring every facet of Jewish daily life in Imperial Russia alive through the sources, concise editorial notes, and insightful introductions. Women appear just as prominently as do men, and no gender issue is left untouched in this superb revelation of a society becoming modern.” —Christine D. Worobec, Distinguished Research Professor emerita, Northern Illinois University

“Framed by a lucid and learned historical introduction, this collection of sources brings ordinary Jewish experience in Imperial Russia to life, in high definition and fine-grained detail. A lasting contribution to the field.” —Naomi Seidman, Graduate Theological Union

CHAERAN Y. FREEZE is associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. She is the author of Jewish Marriage and Divorce in Imperial Russia. JAY M. HARRIS is Harry Austryn Wolfson Professor of Jewish Studies and dean of undergraduate education at Harvard University.