Abstract

By focusing on Minsk, a historic Jewish demographic, religious, and political center in pre-revolutionary Russia and capital of the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic after 1919, this article examines two aspects of Jewish religious practice in the interwar period: the production of kosher meat, and the practice of circumcision. As the persistence of kosher butchering and circumcision during the 1920s and mid-1930s reveals, Jewish life did not change radically in the immediate aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution; even some of the most devoted Communists maintained an allegience to specific features of Jewish self-identification. A study of religious practice in this Soviet city provides a window into the fragmented lives of post-1917 Russian Jews, illuminating the complexity of their acculturation into Soviet society and showing that religious identification was common and multifaceted.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2028
Print ISSN
0021-6704
Pages
pp. 1-31
Launched on MUSE
2008-07-25
Open Access
No
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