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Beyond the PaleThe Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia$
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Benjamin Nathans

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520208308

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520208308.001.0001

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The University as Melting Pot?

The University as Melting Pot?

Chapter:
(p.200) (p.201) Chapter 6 The University as Melting Pot?
Source:
Beyond the Pale
Author(s):

Benjamin Nathans

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520208308.003.0007

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

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