Jews, Ukrainians, and Russians in Kiev: Intergroup Relations in Late Imperial Associational Life
This article explores the associational life of late imperial Kiev to gauge the extent of Jewish participation in the city's civil society and the nature of interethnic relations in the voluntary sphere. Natan Meir demonstrates that, despite political and societal circumstances that often discouraged positive interactions between Jews and their Russian and Ukrainian neighbors, the voluntary association made possible opportunities for constructive interethnic encounters. These opportunities included a range of experiences from full Jewish integration to a segregation of Jewish interests within the sphere of activity of a particular association. While taking into account the central role of intergroup tensions and hostility in Kiev, Meir notes that the frequency of contacts between Jews and non-Jews was higher than most scholars have assumed. By placing the case of Kiev against the larger framework of the Russian empire as well as other European states, Meir contributes to our understanding of the development of late imperial civil society and of the modern Jewish experience in the late Russian empire and across urban Europe.
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Natan M. Meir, “Jews, Ukrainians, and Russians in Kiev: Intergroup Relations in Late Imperial Associational Life,” Slavic Review 65, no. 3 (Autumn 2006): 475-501.