Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment In Minsk by Elissa BemporadBecoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment In Minsk by Elissa Bemporad

Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment In Minsk

byElissa Bemporad

Paperback | April 29, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 192 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Minsk, the present capital of Belarus, was a heavily Jewish city in the decades between the world wars. Recasting our understanding of Soviet Jewish history, Becoming Soviet Jews demonstrates that the often violent social changes enforced by the communist project did not destroy continuities with prerevolutionary forms of Jewish life in Minsk. Using Minsk as a case study of the Sovietization of Jews in the former Pale of Settlement, Elissa Bemporad reveals the ways in which many Jews acculturated to Soviet society in the 1920s and 1930s while remaining committed to older patterns of Jewish identity, such as Yiddish culture and education, attachment to the traditions of the Jewish workers' Bund, circumcision, and kosher slaughter. This pioneering study also illuminates the reshaping of gender relations on the Jewish street and explores Jewish everyday life and identity during the years of the Great Terror.

Elissa Bemporad is Jerry and William Ungar Assistant Professor in East European Jewish History and the Holocaust at Queens College, City University of New York. She is editor (with Margherita Pascucci) of Conzeniana, a series in Yiddish literature and culture.
Title:Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment In MinskFormat:PaperbackDimensions:292 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:April 29, 2013Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253008220

ISBN - 13:9780253008220

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

1 Historical Profile of an East European Jewish City
2 Red Star on the Jewish Street
3 Entangled Loyalties: The Bund, the Evsekstiia, and the Creation of a "New" Jewish Political Culture
4 Soviet Minsk: The Capital of Yiddish
5 Behavior Unbecoming a Communist: Jewish Religious Practice in a Soviet Capital
6 Housewives, Mothers and Workers: Roles and Representations of Jewish Women in Times of Revolution
7 Jewish Ordinary Life in the Midst of Extraordinary Purges: 1934-1939

Editorial Reviews

Elissa Bemporad's Becoming Soviet Jews presents a fascinating account of the ways in which Minsk Jews continued to observe Jewish traditions and maintain their Jewish identity, during the 1920s and early 1930s, despite Soviet pressures on Jews to assimilate. On the basis of extensive research in Belarusian historical archives, Yiddish and Russian newspapers, memoirs in Yiddish, Russian, and Hebrew, and other sources, Bemporad shows that despite the Soviet attack on synagogues and on Jewish political organizations . . . Jewish culture and identity survived and even, in some respects, thrived, during this period.