By Sascha L. Goluboff
A fascinating ethnography. . . . via a full of life presentation of occasions at Moscows relevant Synagogue, Goluboff demonstrates that alterations from the Soviet ethical economic climate of equivalent are looking to the free-wheeling post-Soviet global of ethnically marked investors have compelled reconsideration of what it capability to be Jewish in modern Russia.
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Additional info for Jewish Russians: Upheavals in a Moscow Synagogue
These stories most often focused on corruption, ranging from short comments about how so-and-so sneaked an apple into his pocket during a Shabbat meal at the synagogue to how soand-so was making a profit off the congregation by selling ritual items for a high price. At first I thought these stories showed how some people were not "afraid" to speak their minds, but I later understood through my work in the Russian archives that these tales resembled 30 Introduction donosy (denunciations) and were thus another tactic to avoid repression and representation.
However, the Georgian Jews left the room to have their own Torah reading in the main hall when they had ten men for a minyan, including the Mountain Jews. They then returned to the Fistfights at Morning Services 35 small hall to end services with the Ashkenazim. This arrangement ran smoothly until May 6, 1996, when a fistfight broke out between Zviad and Yose during prayer. This conflict demonstrates the tensions and history underlying morning services in the small hall. Specifically, the fight elucidates how the creation of Jewish ethnic identity was tied to the negotiation of space at the synagogue, transforming the morning minyan into the site of much drama and excitement.
I admired how they tirelessly worked to build new schools, charity programs, and religious activities. I was grateful for their hospitality, since they frequently invited me home for Shabbat and holiday dinners. As time went on, I began to realize that Yurii's words were not so much the "truth" as they were an interpretation of the synagogue's power structure. This insight placed me in a bind, for I understood that it would be impossible for me to stay completely open to both sides— those who complained of a lack of power and those who strove to solidify their influence.
Jewish Russians: Upheavals in a Moscow Synagogue by Sascha L. Goluboff