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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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Conflict and Community

Conflict and Community

(p.123) Chapter 4 Conflict and Community
Beyond the Pale

Benjamin Nathans

University of California Press

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

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