Orthodox Jewry and the Russian government: An attempt at rapprochement, 1907-1914

Vladimir Levin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article examines one facet of Jewish Orthodox politics that emerged after the 1905 Russian revolution, namely its attempt to conclude a kind of political alliance with the Russian government. Orthodox circles were the main group within Russian Jewry that professed conservative and monarchist principles. Therefore, Orthodox leaders hoped that a rapprochement with the conservative, but society-oriented government of Piotr Stolypin would be possible and desirable. With government support, they believed that they could successfully fight against revolutionary-minded Jewish youth. Although Stolypin's government initially showed an inclination towards this Orthodox rhetoric, it was not willing to make any concessions. After Stolypin's assassination in 1911, the government became increasingly anti-Semitic and even supported measures that harmed Jewish religious observance, thus weakening Orthodox influence. All in all, the Russian government was not ready to differentiate between its Jewish subjects; to support conservatives against revolutionaries and liberals. The government was not interested in looking for allies among Jews, but preferred to see them as a homogeneous entity, harmful, dangerous and wicked, that aimed at the revolutionary destruction of the Russian Empire. Thus, Orthodox ambitions were disillusioned and the politics of rapprochement with the authorities failed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)187-204
Number of pages18
JournalEast European Jewish Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • 1905 revolution
  • Beilis affair
  • Habad/Chabad
  • Jews in the Russian Empire
  • Orthodox Judaism
  • Schneersohn
  • Stolypin
  • anti-Semitism
  • conservatism
  • minorities
  • rabbinic commission
  • rabbis


Dive into the research topics of 'Orthodox Jewry and the Russian government: An attempt at rapprochement, 1907-1914'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this