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Although Jews have had a long history in ethnolinguistically Ukrainian territory, by the turn of the twenty-first century only a small remnant of this once commanding population remained. In 2001, Ukraine had a population of 48 million, approximately 75 percent of which was of Ukrainian ethnicity, with a large Russian minority (some 21%, or 10 million). The exact number of Jews is a matter of some controversy: the 1989 census listed 487,300 Jews, but only 104,300 were recorded in the first post-Soviet census of 2001, a figure that is questioned by some but that certainly reflects the massive emigration of Jews in the 1990s.

History to 1881

Jewish settlement in Ukraine predates the beginnings of recorded history in the region. Archaeological evidence places Jews among Greek traders inhabiting the Black Sea coastline in the last centuries before the Common Era. The eastern portions of Ukraine, extending all the way to Kiev, were later absorbed into the Khazar kingdom, with its center just north of the Caspian Sea. The Khazars were a Turkic nomadic people whose rulers and upper classes converted to Judaism in the mid-eighth century, perhaps in an attempt to retain political independence in the face of the growth of the Christian world in the west and Muslim expansion from the south. Kiev in particular shows significant evidence of Khazar settlement, and the city may in fact have been founded by the Khazars as a trading outpost. The story of the Khazar king’s conversion to Judaism, after he had convened a debate among representatives of the major monotheistic faiths, is later echoed in the Povest’ vremennykh let (Russian Primary Chronicle; twelfth century), describing how Prince Volodymyr (Vladimir) chose Eastern Christianity under similar conditions in the late tenth century.

Community leader Motl Kovel (center) and other Jews inside the synagogue, Olgopol, Romania (now in Ukraine), ca. 1920s. (YIVO)

Despite its strong initial influence, there is little evidence that the Khazar Jewish population survived in Ukraine after the Tatar invasion of the thirteenth century. Nevertheless, the Jewish population left a significant mark on Kiev, a city that had both a Jewish quarter and a Jewish gate as early as the eleventh century, and one Mosheh of Kiev is mentioned as a twelfth-century Talmudist. Travelers’ reports, including that of Petaḥya of Regensburg, describe the Jewish community of Kiev. It is apparent that Karaism had some influence on the Kievan Jewish community as well. Jews were expelled from Kiev at the end of the fifteenth century.

Far more significant to the development of Ukrainian Jewry were the waves of migration from Western Europe, particularly from the Rhineland region, that began in the thirteenth century. Right-bank Ukraine (i.e., west of the Dnieper River that roughly bisects the contemporary boundaries of Ukraine) was subject to Lithuania until 1569, when it was annexed to the Polish Crown in the formation of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Particularly after 1569, Jews were frequently employed by nobility to manage the arenda system, under which they sometimes administered large Ukrainian landholdings called latifundia for absentee Polish landlords. In such cases, Jews were given the exclusive right to collect taxes, tolls, and other exactions from the Ukrainian peasantry. Much more often, the contract was for the local right of propinatsiia, the exclusive privilege of distilling and selling alcohol—lucrative trade that fit naturally with the business of innkeeping and small moneylending.

While Jews were engaged in a variety of economic pursuits, many as artisans and merchants, with a smaller number of farmers, income from the arenda constituted the backbone of the Jewish economy. Under this system, Jews in Ukraine flourished, reaching a population of approximately 40,000 by the middle of the seventeenth century. Jews were concentrated in approximately 200 communities on the right bank of the Dnieper River, in the provinces of Volhynia, Podolia, Bratslav, Ruś Czerwona, and Kiev. By 1764–1765, about 300,000 Jews lived in these regions. The arenda system, however, was highly exploitative, particularly when viewed from the perspective of Ukrainian peasants, who deeply resented the economic burden imposed on them by the far-off Polish landlords and their Jewish agents. Ukrainian folk songs record numerous abusive practices from this period, including a possibly mythical description of the practice of paying a fee to Jewish authorities to gain access to the church for ritual functions, and the attempts of Catholic Poles to wean the overwhelmingly Eastern-rite Ukrainians from their Orthodox tradition.

Filling pails at a water pump, Łuck, Poland (now Luts’k, Ukr.), ca.1926. Photograph by Alter Kacyzne. (Forward Association/YIVO)

This resentment boiled over in several revolts, culminating in a major uprising in 1648 under the leadership of Bohdan Khmel’nyts’kyi, who led a Cossack army seeking to end Polish domination in the region. Although his principal targets were Poles, especially noblemen and Catholic priests, the local Jewish population was far more accessible, and horrific massacres took place throughout right-bank Ukraine. The devastation of the period, known among Jews as Gzeyres takh vetat, or the Evil Decrees of 1648–1649, resulted in the deaths of up to half of the Jewish population. After the rebellion subsided, sporadic attacks on Jews continued, including the Haidamak rebellion of 1768, which particularly devastated the Jewish community of Uman.

With the Polish partitions at the end of the eighteenth century, the region embracing most of the territory of contemporary Ukraine was annexed to the Russian Empire and eventually was designated part of the geographical ghetto limiting Jewish residence known as the Pale of Jewish Settlement. An exception was Kiev, where Jewish residence continued to be forbidden, although several thousand Jews lived there illegally in the early twentieth century.

Tensions between Jews and the surrounding Ukrainian populations continued throughout the nineteenth century, but did not slow the inevitable process of cultural cross-fertilization that informed much of both cultures. On many markers of cultural identity, Jewish culture shows evidence of Ukrainian influence, and vice versa. While both groups retained, for example, quite distinct languages—Ukrainian and Yiddish—borrowed terminology is common to both.

Three young men in a wheat field at the Ḥakla’i (Farmer) settlement, Dzhankoi, Ukraine, USSR, ca. 1920s. (YIVO)

Economically, however, Jews were markedly different from members of the surrounding population. Ukrainians were overwhelmingly agricultural, with more than 94 percent living in rural areas even at the end of the nineteenth century. Jews, on the other hand, were concentrated in urban settings, where more than 80 percent made their homes. The larger urban areas in Ukraine were typically evenly divided among Russians, Ukrainians, and Jews, but Jews dominated even these settings in the western Ukrainian provinces of Volhynia and Podolia. The 1897 census shows that only 2.66 percent of Jews in the tsarist empire made their living from agriculture; the corresponding Ukrainian figure is 73 percent. Jews were very strong in commerce (29.55%) and industrial labor (35.47%), sectors in which only a tiny number of Ukrainians were active. This strict economic distinction served to underline many of the other differences between Jews and Ukrainians. Jewish industrial labor, in particular, grew over the course of the nineteenth century as the Russian Empire embarked on a course of gradually increasing industrialization. Large industrial projects in areas of less traditional settlement, such as Khar’kiv in eastern Ukraine, drew Jewish internal migrants, and the establishment of the major port of Odessa in the closing years of the eighteenth century eventually attracted a large Jewish population. Overall, in 1897, Jews made up 30 percent of the urban population of Ukraine.

Ukraine was exceptionally fertile ground for the Hasidic movement, particularly for the dynasties centered in Belz, Bratslav and Uman, Chortkiv, Chernobyl, and Ruzhin. There developed a Ukrainian type of Hasidism characterized by the princely comportment of the rebbes. Tensions between Misnagdim and Hasidim were substantially submerged with the emergence of an intellectual movement that threatened them both equally: the Haskalah, or Jewish enlightenment, which emerged from Germany in the late eighteenth century. The expression of Haskalah in Ukraine was, as might be expected, more significant in western urban regions, but its impact was felt even in the most remote regions. Ukrainian maskilim pioneered both modern Hebrew and literary Yiddish. Uman was the headquarters of early Ukrainian maskilim at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Eventually, however, Odessa became the metropolis of modernizing trends among Ukrainian Jews. Indeed, the second half of the nineteenth century witnessed considerable internal migration of Jews in the Pale of Settlement to new settlements in southern Ukraine, of which Odessa was the most prominent. The burgeoning port city even attracted settlers from Galicia in the Austrian Empire.


Graduating class of the Moriah School, a Hebrew-language school for girls, Zhvanets, Russia (now in Ukraine), 1910. (YIVO)

A major watershed in Ukrainian Jewish history occurred in March 1881 when Alexander II was assassinated by a grenade thrown by a member of a small socialist circle. Rumors circulated throughout the tsarist empire to the effect that the new tsar, Alexander III, had given the people the right to “beat the Jews” in retaliation, and violent attacks on Jews continued sporadically for the next three years, with the greatest concentration occurring in Ukrainian territory. Recent research indicates that these attacks were spontaneous and principally carried out by migrant industrial workers traveling along rail lines throughout Ukraine, stopping regularly to plunder neighboring Jewish communities.

Compared to later pogrom waves, the human devastation of 1881–1884 was relatively mild, with reasonable estimates of Jewish causalities under 100. The sheer atmosphere of lawlessness, with the apparent inability or unwillingness of Russian authorities to control the violence, nevertheless made a major impact on the psyche of the average Ukrainian Jew, rousing the population to consider even more seriously several alternatives for their political self-expression. The pace of emigration, which had begun to swell in the 1870s, accelerated. The earliest stirrings of modern Zionism occurred in Ukraine, articulated by the BILU movement (an acronym for Isaiah 2:5, “House of Jacob, Let Us Ascend”), founded in eastern Ukraine and sending its first settlers to establish communities in Palestine in 1882. Major Zionist thinkers such as Lev Pinsker and Ahad Ha-Am were active in the region, particularly in Odessa, and it was a gathering of Zionists in Ukraine in 1903 that rejected the British offer of African territory as a future national home of the Jews (the “Uganda Plan”).

Other Jews felt that leaving the Russian Empire was not a viable solution to the triple dilemmas of economic hardship, antisemitic violence, and government inaction. Indeed, the failure of the government to act against pogroms was slowly becoming a policy of complicity, with Nicholas II openly identifying with the antisemitic Black Hundreds organization, personally sponsoring the publication of the notorious antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and even prosecuting a Kiev Jew, Mendel Beilis, on the absurd medieval charge of kidnapping a Christian child and murdering him for his blood. A jury of Ukrainian peasants acquitted Beilis in 1913.

Thus, many felt that the problems of the tsarist empire had to be addressed directly, and through potentially radical change. Thousands of young Jews were drawn to revolutionary movements, some of which espoused socialism. Moreover, a wide range of Jewish socialist parties, notably the Bund, spread throughout the region. Another popular option for politically conscious Ukrainian Jews was the socialist-Zionist hybrid party known as Po‘ale Tsiyon (Workers of Zion). These political organizations, which were initially forced to operate underground, were increasingly active after the 1905 Revolution and the subsequent lifting of selected bans on political organization.

The Jewish political movement that had the greatest initial political achievement in Ukraine was the so-called autonomist movement (also known as Diaspora Nationalism), devoted to establishing a secular, modernized form of Jewish national autonomy in twentieth-century Ukraine. The political party Folkspartey was inspired by the historian Simon Dubnow, who imagined a Russian federation in which Jews (indeed, all organized minorities) would form a parliament to regulate all communal affairs, such as education and cultural activities, as well as internal religious affairs and the like. The prime minister of this Jewish parliament would in turn occupy a cabinet-level post in the state government as minister of Jewish affairs.


Ukraine was a major theater during World War I, with intense fighting in West Ukraine in particular. After invading Austrian Galicia at the onset of the war, tsarist troops were beaten back in 1915 by German forces, and fighting raged in that region for the next two years. Poorly equipped Russian soldiers were rapidly demoralized, and as discipline faltered, an increasingly ominous pattern of attacks on local Jewish populations began. During this exceptionally chaotic period of Ukrainian history, the region went from the throes of World War I, through two revolutions (the establishment of the Provisional Government in early 1917, and its overthrow by the Bolsheviks several months later), a declaration of Ukrainian independence and a brief Soviet–Ukrainian war, occupation by German forces, and then a cataclysmic civil war that lasted from late 1918 through 1920.

“Vote Only for Slate 18. Only with Your Active Participation in the Voting for the Ukrainian Founding Convention Will You Protect Your Economic and National Interests.” Yiddish poster. Printed in Ukraine, 1918. (Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig Jesselson, 1998.615. Collection of Yeshiva University Museum, New York)

During this time, and for reasons both pragmatic and idealistic, Jewish and Ukrainian political activists sought to bring a new harmony to Ukrainian–Jewish relations in a proposed postrevolutionary democracy. Jewish participation in the Ukrainian movement was important for giving the movement both a solid foundation in urban regions as well as a foothold in the economic life of the country, and also helped Ukrainians argue for greater independence from the former empire’s center in Saint Petersburg. For their part, Ukrainians pledged to implement the major tenets of autonomism, giving Jews communal as well as individual rights, including the appointment of a minister of Jewish affairs in the Ukrainian cabinet, the devotion of a portion of state taxes for Jewish educational and other purposes, and the declaration of Yiddish as an official state language.

Perhaps surprisingly, much of Ukrainian Jewry embraced a partnership with the emerging Ukrainian national movement. Across the spectrum, from Jewish socialism to Revisionist Zionism, Jewish political parties joined with the Ukrainian Central Rada in Kiev to assert demands for increased local autonomy. This relationship was tenable so long as the Rada envisioned itself as part of a federated Russian Republic: once Bolshevik power was established in Petrograd and Moscow, this clearly became impossible. The Rada declared independence in January 1918, over the objections of its Jewish members. Tensions between the Ukrainian and Jewish political groups were exacerbated in the burgeoning wave of violence that overwhelmed Ukraine in 1919.

The lofty ideals of political cooperation existed only in the minds of their creators, the small circle of politically active Jews and Ukrainians in Kiev and major cities (in fact, as the civil war progressed, the headquarters of the Ukrainian government was displaced to several passenger cars and a locomotive, and was ignominiously reduced to fleeing from one town to another). The dominant experience of Jews in Ukraine during the civil war period was one of violence, as hordes of pogromists swept across the countryside. Various military organizations and independent hooligans killed tens of thousands of Jews in the worst violence ever experienced in the region to that time. All groups participated in the pillage, from the anti-Soviet White Army, the anarchists, and even the Red Army—but the largest single proportion of recorded pogroms, some 40 percent, were perpetrated by Ukrainian troops, ostensibly loyal to the same government that had extended such unprecedented rights and privileges to the Jewish population.

Jewish colonists eating breakfast at an agricultural settlement in Kherson, Ukraine, ca. 1925. (YIVO)

The Ukrainian government, led by Symon Petliura, was unable to control its ragtag troops, which had shrunk from 100,000 volunteers to barely 16,000 by the spring of 1919. Indeed, rather than actively curbing his troops, Petliura may well have simply turned a blind eye to their anti-Jewish (and anti-Polish) violence during a few critical weeks in the campaign. Although he aggressively campaigned against violence later in the civil war, the damage was done: Ukrainian–Jewish political collaboration was over. Petliura was later assassinated in Paris in 1926 by a Bessarabian Jew, Sholem Shvartsbard, claiming revenge for the pogroms: after a much celebrated and controversial trial, the assassin was released without punishment.

Of the major combatants in Ukrainian territory, the Red Army under Leon Trotsky’s leadership was responsible for only 9 percent of recorded pogroms. Indeed, Lenin pursued a determined policy of opposition to antisemitism. In what historian Zvi Gitelman called the “dilemma of the one alternative,” Jews flocked to join the Red Army in such numbers that a special section had to be set up to train these Yiddish-speaking youngsters who were probably holding a weapon for the first time in their lives. Ironically, this became a self-fulfilling prophecy: the Ukrainian perception that Jews sympathized with the Soviet enemy motivated pogromists to attack Jewish communities, and the Jewish perception that Ukrainians were pogromists prompted them to join the Red Army, which in turn fueled the Ukrainian belief that Jews were overwhelmingly pro-Soviet.

This tendency for Jewish support is also reflected in Communist Party membership. The Jewish population of Ukraine, according to the 1897 census, was approximately 1.6 million, or 8 percent of the total population. Statistics for membership in the Communist Party before the revolution are unreliable, but partial figures from 1917 show that Jews constituted about 4 percent (or fewer than 1,000 people) of the party for the entire tsarist empire. Looking at Ukraine specifically, Jews made up 13.6 percent of all Communist Party members in 1922 (53.6% were Russians and 23.3% were Ukrainians). This statistic declined to 11.2 percent in 1926, still some three percentage points higher than Jews’ approximate share of the population. More ominous, however, is the prominence, especially in the early 1920s, of Jews in various branches of the Ukrainian Cheka, the Soviet secret police (known later as the GPU/NKVD). Statistics are generally not available, but anecdotal evidence of prominent Jewish participation is plentiful.

Carpentry workshop subsidized by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Poltava, USSR (now in Ukraine), 1929. (YIVO)

Ukrainian Jews numbered 1.5 million, or 60 percent of the USSR’s Jewish population, in the 1920s. Despite Marxist ideological questioning of the legitimacy of Jewish national identity, Jews were included in the broad scope of the Communist policy of korenizatsiia (indigenization or rooting), a plan that attempted to allow the various nationalities a degree of cultural expression while preventing the development of potentially anti-Soviet nationalist movements. Under the general motto characterizing itself as “nationalist in form, socialist in content,” korenizatsiia encouraged the development of local arts and culture, especially the promotion of languages that had been repressed or ignored during the tsarist regime.

Conflict between Jews and Ukrainians during this period occurred as both groups reoriented themselves to take advantage of the changing political climate. Often competing with each other, they also clashed over some specific issues, such as the experimental Jewish farms set up in Ukrainian regions. Since Ukrainians were the dominant nationality in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR), and in keeping with the concept of korenizatsiia, the government pursued a policy of “Ukrainianization,” in which the Ukrainian language was given preference as a state language, the percentage of Ukrainians in the Ukrainian Communist Party was increased, and so on. Jews, however, were opting to follow another course by orienting themselves toward the Russians, a minority in the Ukrainian SSR but the dominant nationality in the Soviet Union as a whole. Whereas Yiddish was the mother tongue of an overwhelming 97 percent of Ukrainian Jews in 1897 (a figure that dropped to 76.3 in 1926), only 0.9 percent had adopted Ukrainian as their mother tongue: 22.7 percent of Jews were educated in Russian instead. The largest Jewish communities were in Kiev, Odessa, Khar’kiv, and Dnipropetrovs’k (as Ekaterinoslav was renamed in 1926).

Jews and non-Jews, stores, homes, and other buildings, Bolechów, Poland (now Bolechiv, Ukraine), 1930s. The woman with the cigarette and small dark hat is an American Jewish tourist. (YIVO)

The Stalinist repressions of the 1930s made the prodigious cultural activity of the 1920s seem like a passing dream for both Jews and Ukrainians. The “national in form” aspects of both Ukrainian and Jewish cultures were brutally and crudely suppressed as writers, actors, and others were systematically accused of “deviation” and were often forced to recant their work publicly. These persecutions often reached absurd proportions. Taking the example of language once again, Russian replaced Ukrainian in scores of official settings; publication of Ukrainian dictionaries was suspended; Jewish schools, theaters, and other cultural institutions were closed down; and Jewish publications of all kinds fell off sharply.

Stalin’s drive to rapidly industrialize the Soviet Union had catastrophic consequences for Ukraine. Estimates of the number of Ukrainians who perished in the famine of 1932–1933 vary significantly, but a conservative calculation places the death toll at a staggering 4.8 million. The association of Jews with communism in the minds of many Ukrainians aggravated tensions between the two groups, since the catastrophic food-distribution polices of the regime must bear considerable responsibility for the severity of the famine.

The Holocaust in Ukraine

The experience of the Holocaust in Ukraine varied widely, in accordance with the date of Nazi occupation. Jews living in the western regions taken under Nazi control in September 1939 were forced into ghettos, followed by deportation to death camps. Jews in the zone annexed by the USSR between the beginning of the war in September 1939 and Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 were subject to a rapid and brutal Sovietization, but were shielded partially from the full force of the Nazis as many managed to escape to the interior of the USSR in the first chaotic weeks of the German advance.

Women walking past the ruins of the Great Synagogue on the way to the marketplace, Satanov, Ukraine, 2000. Photograph by Andrzej Polec. (© Andrzej Polec,

This escape route, however, was of little use to the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews living in the small settlements that dotted the countryside. Following the German army came two Einsatzgruppen units, some 1,400 troops in total, which systematically worked their way through these locales, rounding up Jews, Communists, and others and taking them to nearby ravines for execution. The most horrific single atrocity by the Einsatzgruppen occurred outside Kiev at Babi Yar, where more than 30,000 Jews were murdered in two days in late September 1941. 

Most Ukrainian Jews experienced the impact of the Nazi onslaught after Operation Barbarossa in June 1941: the hurried Soviet evacuation, followed by the Nazi invasion and Einsatzgruppen massacres. Those in eastern Galicia, incorporated into the Generalgouvernement, had an experience that was more typical of Polish Jewry: ghettoization followed by deportation to death camps in 1942. The Nazi invasion of these territories, which were part of independent Poland between the wars and then subject to a brief and brutal period of Soviet control between September 1939 and the summer of 1941, was seen by many Ukrainians as a liberation from a perceived Jewish–Communist oppressor, and spontaneous pogroms against Jews broke out in many communities after the Soviet evacuation. The Nazis considered this violence quite advantageous, and in some cases (such as the infamous Petliura Days of L’viv) actively sought to encourage Ukrainian attacks on Jews. Ghettos were established in the major communities; the Janowska camp in L’viv was especially notorious for its brutal treatment of the Jews

Accurate demographic calculations of the extent of the Holocaust are difficult to achieve, but a realistic estimate of the number of Ukrainian Jews killed would be approximately 1.5 million: 60 percent of the total prewar population. This figure is massive, but at the same time very unusual in that, with the exception of Poland, Ukraine had the largest single population of Jews in any country completely occupied by the Nazis. Therefore, a survival rate of 40 percent, even approximate, is especially high. This figure is also surprising given the much more brutal nature of the occupation in Eastern Europe, and the fact that Ukraine was classified as either part of the Generalgouvernement (in the formerly Polish regions) or as a Reichskommissariat. Hence, both regions were under complete martial law, and lacked the sort of meaningful organs of self-government that were permitted in some Western countries. Furthermore, many Ukrainians, particularly in the western regions, viewed cooperation with the Nazis as justified retribution for perceived Jewish collaboration with the Communists. Some Ukrainians also sheltered Jews from the Nazis, including the Uniate Metropolitan Andryi Sheptyts’kyi, responsible for rescuing some 250 children in his network of convents and monasteries.


At the war’s end, returning Jews were met with a surge of antisemitic violence as they attempted to secure their homes and property after the dislocations of the war. The official reaction of the Soviet Union was to dismiss such violence as the lingering effect of pro-Fascist elements, and in fact the postwar years were characterized by silence on the unique suffering of Jews during the Holocaust. The most egregious example of this failure to memorialize the Holocaust properly was at Babi Yar, which did not receive a memorial until 1976. Official antisemitism, sometimes covered with a thin veneer of anti-Zionism, was especially prominent in Ukraine: in 1963, the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine published Trokhym Kichko’s crude and cartoonish Iudaizmbez prykras (Judaism without Embellishment), a blatantly antisemitic work under the guise of scholarship.

Beginning in the 1960s, however, Ukrainian and Jewish dissidents were intensifying their activities, the former demanding internal change and the latter demanding release to immigrate to Israel. Although their immediate demands were not entirely congruent, the broader need for change was something both groups shared, and informal contacts between the movements flourished. With the era of glasnost, the predominant Ukrainian movement for change, known as Rukh, adopted a decidedly friendly posture toward Jews in both Ukraine and the State of Israel. When the extremist Russian nationalist organization Pamiat’ called for anti-Jewish violence in May 1990, Rukh successfully campaigned against any attacks, convincing many Ukrainian Jews that this more liberal, national-democratic movement deserved their support.

After 1991

Simḥat Torah celebration in a nineteenth-century synagogue, Bershad, Ukraine, 1997. The congregation celebrated the holiday without a Torah because the one they had was not considered fit to be used. Photograph by Andrzej Polec. (© Andrzej Polec,

Ukraine officially achieved independence in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the late Soviet period, Jews had already begun emigrating at a rapid rate, especially to Israel and the United States. According to the 2001 census, roughly 380,000 Jews had chosen to leave Ukraine, some three-quarters of the Jewish population. Nevertheless, a strong community of Jews remained in Kiev, organized initially under the leadership of Yaakov Dov Bleich, an American Hasid who became chief rabbi of Ukraine during the late Soviet period. A rich network of Jewish schools and synagogues appeared in the major centers, especially Kiev, L’viv, and Dnipropetrovs’k, where the Lubavitch Hasidic movement was especially active, and many buildings confiscated by the Soviet regime were returned to Jewish communal organizations. Jewish newspapers, typically in the Russian language, circulated, and even advanced scholarship was reviving, including at the Tkuma Holocaust Museum and Research Center in Dnipropetrovs’k. Although the population declined significantly, Ukrainian Jewry displayed remarkable vitality after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Suggested Reading

Henry Abramson, A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times, 1917–1920 (Cambridge, Mass., 1999); Howard Aster and Peter J. Potichnyj, eds., Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in Historical Perspective, 2nd ed. (Edmonton, 1990); Jonathan Dekel-Chen, Farming the Red Land: Jewish Agricultural Colonization and Local Soviet Power, 1924–1941 (New Haven, 2005); Shmuel Ettinger, “The Legal and Social Status of the Jews of Ukraine from the Fifteenth Century to the Cossack Uprising of 1648,” Journal of Ukrainian Studies 17.1–2 (1992): 107–140; Philip Friedman, “The First Millenium of Jewish Settlement in the Ukraine and Adjacent Areas,” Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States 7.1–1 (1959): 1483–1516; Zvi Gitelman, Jewish Nationality and Soviet Politics: The Jewish Sections of the CPSU, 1917–1930 (Princeton, 1972); Zvi Gitelman, “Native Land, Promised Land, Golden Land: Jewish Emigration from Russia and Ukraine,” in Cultures and Nations of Central and Eastern Europe, pp. 137–163 (Cambridge, Mass., 2000); Vladimir Khanin, ed., Documents on Ukrainian-Jewish Identity and Emigration, 1944–1990 (London, 2003); John D. Klier and Shlomo Lambroza, eds., Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History (Cambridge, Mass., and New York, 1992); Joel Raba, Between Remembrance and Denial: The Fate of the Jews in the Wars of the Polish Commonwealth during the Mid-Seventeenth Century as Shown in Contemporary Writings and Historical Research (Boulder, Colo., 1995); Shaul Stampfer, “What Actually Happened to the Jews of Ukraine in 1648?” Jewish History 17.2 (2003): 207–227.

YIVO Archival Resources

RG 358, Joseph A. Rosen, Papers, 1921-1938 (finding aid).