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Tribuna

Russian-language journal produced by the central board of OZET (Society for the Settlement of Jewish Toilers on the Land) between 1927 and 1937 in Moscow. Semen Dimanshtein, its editor in chief (1927–1934, 1936–1937), was chairman of OZET. Tribuna was published at times monthly (1927–1928, 1933–1935), biweekly (1928–1929, 1932–1933, 1936–1937), and at one point every 10 days (1930–1932). Circulation numbers averaged 13,900.


The journal’s full title originally (1927–1929) was Tribuna evreiskoi sovetskoi obshchestvennosti (Tribune of the Soviet Jewish Community), and its contents carried news and information about Jewish life in the Soviet Union and abroad. Tribuna tried at first to accept material from nonparty Jewish organizations, including sources outside the country; however, by 1929 the mission of OZET was changed, and the publication’s title was shortened. Most articles were then limited to issues relevant to Soviet Jewish agricultural settlements; other items dealt with productivization projects affecting Jewish shtetl residents. During the 1920s Tribuna devoted great attention to the antisemitism that was rife in the Soviet Union, demanding that perpetrators be severely punished. By the beginning of the 1930s, this campaign was dropped. At the same time the journal reported on the modification of synagogues into public buildings, the burning of religious texts, and “the antireligious campaign that was carried out in the Jewish village.” Tribuna was anti-Zionist but devoted considerable space to Yiddish culture, publishing stories and poems in Russian translation.


Tribuna was founded during the latter stages of the relatively liberal New Economic Policy, and it hoped to appeal to the Russian Jewish intelligentsia to support Jewish land settlement, to rehabilitate the shtetl, and to develop a Jewish culture in the Soviet Union. But by the end of the 1920s, Tribuna was indistinguishable from other Soviet Jewish publications, beyond the fact that it was written in Russian. After 1931, it was the only Russian Jewish journal (with the exception of the Birobidzhanrkaia zvesda) available in the Soviet Union, and its closure in 1937 signaled the death knell for the Russian Jewish press in that country.

Suggested Reading

Ya‘akov Levavi-Babitski, “Ozet Gezerd (Ḥevrah le-sidur ḥakla’i shel yehudim ‘amelim bi-Verit ha-Mo‘atsot),” He-‘Avar 16 (1969): 118–130; Benjamin Pinkus and Alfred Abraham Greenbaum, Russian Publications on Jews andJudaism in the Soviet Union, 1917–1967: A Bibliography, ed. Mordechai Altshuler (Jerusalem, 1970), see editor’s foreword, esp. pp. 35–38, 99–104; Benjamin Pinkus, The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority, (Cambridge and New York, 1988); Yehuda Slutsky, “Tribuna: A Soviet Jewish Russian Journal, 1927–1937,” Soviet Jewish Affairs 12.1 (1982): 45–53, 12.2 (1982): 37–52.

Author

Translation

Edited by Avraham Greenbaum; translated from Hebrew by David Fachler