The Russian Revolutions of 1917 drastically transformed the lives of the largest Jewish community in the world. Emancipation was finally achieved, the hated Czar was finally deposed and they could finally reside outside the Pale of Settlement. With the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922, new challenges arrived on the scene. The new found freedom led to widespread assimilation. Couple with the mass internal migration to urban centers, this brought a great breakdown of traditional Jewish life. The Soviet communist government was openly hostile to organized religious life, and its rabbis were hounded and exiled.
This series on the history of Soviet Jewry is sponsored by Shuvu – Chazon Avraham, a unique network of schools in Israel whose student body is primarily composed of children of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The students represent a closing chapter of Jewish history, a bookend effect as it were as descendants of the Soviet Jews who experienced the Revolution and its results. Support Shuvu’s educational projects here: https://www.shuvuusa.org/donate
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