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Siberian Jews

Thursday, September 29, 3:30-4:30 pm

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Siberia is a giant region of Russia that extends from the Ural Mountains in the West to the Pacific Ocean in the East. Usually, it is only associated with frost, snow, prisons and woods. The first Jews in Siberia were those exiled from Moscow as early as the 17th century. Next to arrive were Jewish soldiers who were sent to serve in Siberia by the Russian Tsar Nicolas I. Some Jews even came to Siberia by their own choice trying to escape pogroms and poverty of the Pale of Settlement. To avoid the official prohibition some obtained fake documents to state themselves as criminals sentenced to Siberian exile. In this session with Evgenia Kempinski we will visit the private homes and synagogues of Siberian Jews to discuss and explore Jewish life in Siberia. We will pay respect to the Jews exiled to Siberia from Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania by the Soviet government in 1939 - 1940 and those Polish Jews who ran to the East, crossing the border with USSR, to escape from the Shoah (Holocaust). This program is presented by the Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program and sponsored by the TBS Adult Learning Committee.

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