Moscow Summer School on Jewish Studies

Russian Jewry: History and Memory

Summer school on Jewish studies organized by Sefer Center in cooperation with International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was held in the suburban hotel “Planernoye on July 9-13 2019. The school was supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, the Russian Jewish Congress through a grant from the President of the Russian Federation on development of civil society provided by the presidential grants.


The school was devoted to various aspects of the history and culture of Russian Jewry from the appearance of Jews in the Russian Empire to the present day. The issues of preserving the memory and Jewish identity both in the Soviet system and in the modern world were also considered.

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The school was attended by 13 teachers and 77 students, postgraduates and young researchers from Russia, Belarus, Israel, USA, Poland, Czech Republic (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Astrakhan, Belgorod, Bishkek, Vologda, Yekaterinburg, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhnekamsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orel, Perm, Rostov-on-don, Smolensk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, Grodno, Minsk, Mogilev, Molodechno, Vitebsk, Simferopol, Warsaw, Brno, Jerusalem, Atlanta) and 2 organizers from Moscow.


The main program of the school consisted of lectures on three thematic streams:



Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3

Jews and the city

Yuriy Snopov

Jews in Moscow in XIX-XX centuries: migration, resettlement, employment and religious and communal life

Vladimir Levin
Synagogue in the big city

Arthur Markowski
Urban space and Jews of the Pale of settlement in the Kingdom of Poland of the XIX century.

Jews and authorities

Victoriya Gerasimova

"Phantom Jews": Jewish presence in the Russian Empire before three particions of The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Galina Zelenina

Soviet Jews and authorities: the emigration controversy


Zeev Khanin


Russian-speaking Jews and authorities: the experience of the former USSR, North America, Israel and the EU

Memory and Jewish heritage

Arkadiy Zeltser

Memory of Soviet Jews about the Holocaust

Maria Makarova

Where there are no Jews? Memorialization of the Jewish past in Warsaw and Birobidzhan

Kseniya Poluektova- Krimer
Problems of Holocaust memorialization in art, historiography and socio-political discourse


In addition to the main program, the participants of the school had the opportunity to listen to methodological seminars:

* Vladimir Levin and Arkady Zeltser conducted a seminar on the specifics of writing articles and other academic texts, the rules of their construction in the framework of modern interdisciplinary approaches, the relationship of the theoretical part of the text and citations/ statistics.

* Anastasia Strakhova discussed the peculiarities of filling in applications for international grants and conferences, commented on examples of writing motivational and cover letters;

* Victoria Gerasimova introduced the method of searching materials in provincial archives and Museum funds to the participants of the school.

The cultural part of the school program consisted of viewing and discussion of two movies (the "Synonyms "commented  by Uri Gershovich, and the f " Night porter "-with the commentary by Ksenia Krimer) and a concert of "Ensemble of Mediterranean Deconstruction".

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For the first time, as a kind of event uniting all participants a quest in Judaica was held, which was prepared and conducted by Natalia Kireeva and Galina Zelenina.

Before the beginning of the school, everyone had the opportunity to participate in a tour of Jewish Moscow. The tour was conducted by Arthur Klempert

The school will focus on various aspects of the history and culture of Russian Jewry from the time of the appearance of Jews on the territory of the Russian Empire to the present day. The issues of preserving memory and Jewish identity both in the Soviet time and in the modern world will also be considered.

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The school will have both academic and practical focus, it will be divided into several thematic areas: Methodological seminars devoted to the issues of writing articles, work with the sources, study of the requirements in the European, Russian academic journals, progress in the world of science. Field research methods, new approaches (Epigraphic expedition and Ethnography); workshops on how to write an application for international grants, how to write CV and cover/motivation letters, research proposals and conference abstracts, establishing the digital academic identity (, wordpress).

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There will be three parallel lecture streams at the school: the migration processes of the Russian Jewish population in different periods will be considered; the place and role of the synagogue in Jewish society and in communication between Jews and the surrounding population; the problems of the Jewish presence in the Russian Empire before the partitions of The Commonwealth; the features of Jewish space in the cities of the Features of permanent Jewish settlement and the Kingdom of Poland; the interaction of Soviet Jewish activists and "refuseniks" of the late 1960s-early 1980s with the Soviet authorities.; the relationship of Russian-speaking Jews and the authorities in the countries of the former Soviet Union, the United States and Israel; peculiarities of Soviet Jews memory of the Holocaust in context of Soviet politics of memory and politics against the Jews; the specificity of the collective memory of the Holocaust in Israel, Germany, USA, Central Europe; the main stages of the development of the practice of collecting and the presentation of Jewish studies in great Britain, Germany, Austro-Hungary and Russia, as well as a kind of refraction of this dynamic in the Soviet Union.

Students, graduate students and young teachers (under 35 years), interested in the history and culture of Russian Jewry, the preservation of Jewish identity and memory are invited to participate in the Summer school.

The school program includes mini-courses (consisting of 4 lectures), providing an opportunity for each participant to listen to 3 mini-courses; plenary lectures, methodological seminars, workshops and cultural program. 

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In addition, participants of the school are provided with free accommodation and meals, educational materials, as well as a transfer from Moscow to the venue of the school – hotel "Planernoye".

Travel grants to nonresident participants to Moscow are not provided. 

All participants of the School (with the exception of nonresident participants who paid their own fare) will have to make an participation fee in the amount of 2000 rubles. Applications for participation in the School (online questionnaire) are accepted until May 15, 2019

For a description of the courses, see the table below for hyperlinks (click on the teacher's name. The results of the competitive selection for the Summer school will be sent by May 25, 2019.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Summer School on Jewish Studies 
Russian Jewry: history and memory
Moscow,  July, 9 – 13, 2019

Theme1 lecturelecturelecture
Евреи и город
Yury Snopov

Jews in Moscow in the XIX - XX centuries: migration, settlement, employment and the life of religious community
Vladimir Levin

Synagogue in the big city
Arthur Markovsky

Urban space and the Jews
Евреи и власть
Victoria Gerasimova

“Phantom Jews”: Jewish presence in the Russian Empire before dissolution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Память и еврейское наследиеArkady Zeltser

The memory of Soviet Jews about the Holocaust

Marina Scherbakova

From Rothschild to Marxism: Jewish museums in Europe and the USSR in the first half of the twentieth century
Ksenia Poluektova-Krimer

Problems of Holocaust memorialization in art, historiography and socio-political discours