Birobidzhan ( _ru. Биробиджа́н; _yi. style/yid|size=13pt|yid=ביראָבידזשאַן) is a town and the administrative center of the
Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Trans-Siberian railway, close to the border with the People's Republic of China, and is the home of the Birobidzhan Synagogueand the Jewish religious community of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. [http://www.eao.ru//Images/Gorod/gen_022.jpg]
Infobox Russian city
CityDay=Last Saturday of May"Charter of the Municipal Formation of the Town of Birobidzhan", adopted on
July 24, 1997, with subsequent amendments ]
FederalSubject=Jewish Autonomous Oblast
Jewish Autonomous Oblast
Jewish Autonomous Oblast
Charter of Birobidzhan
Event1=Urban-type settlement status
The 2002 Census recorded the town as having a population of 77,250 (down from the 83,667 registered in the census of 1989). Birobidzhan is named for the two largest rivers in the
autonomous oblast: the Bira and the Bidzhan, although only the Bira flows through the town, which lies to the east of the Bidzhan valley. Both rivers are tributaries of the Amur River. Visitors find the town surprisingly green. The chief economic activity is light industry.
Jewish and Yiddish culture in Birobidzhan
Rabbi Mordechai Scheiner, the Chief Rabbiof Birobidzhan and Chabad Lubavitchrepresentative to the region, "Today one can enjoy the benefits of the Yiddishculture and not be afraid to return to their Jewish traditions. It's safe without any Anti-Semitism, and we plan to open the first Jewish day schoolhere."Fact|date=April 2008 Mordechai Scheiner, an Israelifather of six, has been the rabbiin Birobidzhan for the last five years. He is also the host of the Russian television show, Yiddishkeit. The town's synagogueopened in 2004. [ [http://www.fjc.ru/news/newsArticle.asp?AID=166969 FJC | News | Far East Community Prepares for 70th Anniversary of Jewish Autonomous Republic ] ] Rabbi Scheiner says there are 4,000 Jews in Birobidzhan, just over 5 percent of the town's 75,000 population. [ [http://www.fjc.ru/news/newsArticle.asp?AID=525676&cid=84435&NewsType=80052 FJC | News | From Tractors to Torah in Russia's Jewish Land ] ] The Birobidzhan Jewish Communitywas led by Lev Toitman, until his death in September, 2007. [ [http://www.fjc.ru/news/newsArticle.asp?AID=566776&scope=6218&NewsType=80052 Far East Jewish Community Chairman Passes Away] Federation of Jewish Communities] .
Jewish culture was revived in Birobidzhan much earlier than elsewhere in the
Soviet Union. Yiddish theaters opened in the 1970s. Yiddish and Jewish traditions have been required components in all public schools for almost fifteen years, taught not as Jewish exotica but as part of the region's national heritage. [ [http://www.ncsj.org/AuxPages/091304JTA_Birobid.shtml#0923 NCSJ - Profiles: Birobidzhan Jewish Community ] ] The Birobidzhan Synagogue, completed in 2004, is next to a complex housing Sunday School classrooms, a library, a museum, and administrative offices. The buildings were officially opened in 2004 to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. [ [http://www.fjc.ru/news/newsArticle.asp?AID=317166 FJC | News | Birobidzhan - New Rabbi, New Synagogue ] ] Concerning the Jewish Communityof the oblast, Governor Nikolay Mikhaylovich Volkovhas stated that he intends to "support every valuable initiative maintained by our local Jewishorganizations." [ [http://www.fjc.ru/news/newsArticle.asp?AID=221939 Governor Voices Support for Growing Far East Jewish Community] Federation of Jewish Communities] . In 2007, The First Birobidzhan International Summer Program for Yiddish Language and Culture was launched by Yiddish studies professor Boris Kotlerman of Bar-Ilan University. [http://www.2all.co.il/web/Sites/yiddishproject/]
Chanukahcelebration of 2007, officials of Birobidzhan in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast claimed to have built the world's largest menorah. [ [http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/105713.html Breaking News - JTA, Jewish & Israel News ] ]
Birobidzhan Jewish National Universityworks in cooperation with the local religious community. The university is unique in the Russian Far East. The basis of the training course is study of the Hebrew language, history and classic Jewishtexts. [ [http://www.eao.ru/eng/?p=365 Religion ] ] The town now boasts several state-run schools that teach Yiddish, as well as an Anglo-Yiddish faculty at its higher education college, a Yiddish school for religious instruction and a kindergarten. The five to seven year-olds spend two lessons a week learning to speak Yiddish, as well as being taught Jewish songs, dance and traditions. [ [http://www.kulanu.org/links/birodidzhan.html Kulanu: Birobidzhan: Soviety-era Jewish homeland struggles on ] ] The school menorah was created in 1991. It is a public school that offers a half-day Yiddish and Jewish curriculum for those parents who choose it. About half the school’s 120 pupils are enrolled in the Yiddish course. Many of them continue on to Public School No. 2, which offers the same half-day Yiddish/Jewish curriculum from first through 12th grade. Yiddish also is offered at Birobidzhan’s Pedagogical Institute, one of the only university-level Yiddish courses in the country. [ [http://www.ncsj.org/AuxPages/091304JTA_Birobid.shtml#0916 NCSJ - Profiles: Birobidzhan Jewish Community ] ] Today, the city’s 14 public schools must teach Yiddish and Jewish tradition.
"L'Chayim, Comrade Stalin!"
A documentary film, "
L'Chayim, Comrade Stalin!" [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0323008/ L'Chayim, Comrade Stalin!] ] on Stalin's creation of the Jewish Autonomous Oblastand its partial settlement by thousands of Russian and Yiddish-speaking Jews was released in 2003. As well as relating the history of the creation of the proposed Jewish homeland, the film features scenes of life in contemporary Birobidzhan and interviews with Jewish residents.
According to the NY Times, Stalin established the city to protect secular Jews. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/us/12koval.html?hp William J. Broad, "A Spy’s Path: Iowa to A-Bomb to Kremlin Honor", New York Times (November 12, 2007), p. A19] ]
In Search of Happiness", a documentary about modern day Birobidzhan
Jews and Judaism in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast
* Stalin's Forgotten Zion: Birobidzhan and the Making of a Soviet Jewish Homeland: An Illustrated History, 1928-1996 (Paperback) by Robert Weinberg.
Boris "Dov" Kaufman
* [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.ndlpcoop/mtfxtx.na0025 "Birobidzhan from 1929 to 1931" - photo album (Digitized page images)] at US
Library of Congress
* [http://www.f8.com/FP/Russia/Abiro.html Atlas: Birobidzhan]
* [http://Birobidzhan.rfn.ru Birobidzhan.rfn.ru]
* [http://eao.ru/eng Birobidzhan government homepage] (official)
** [http://eao.ru/eng/?p=420 Birobidzhan Photo Gallery] (official)
* [http://www.jonasbendiksen.com/biro.html Birobidzan, Stalin’s Forgotten Zion] by
Jonas Bendiksen( Magnum Photos)
* [http://www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/SU/EncJudaica_Birobidzhan-ENGL.html The Jewish story about Birobidzhan (Birobidjan) 1928-1970] (from Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971 a.o., with fotos added)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
BIROBIDZHAN — BIROBIDZHAN, colloquial name of the district (oblast) in Russia, for which the official designation was the Jewish Autonomous District (Avtonomnaya Oblast). Part of the Khabarovsk territory (kray) in the former Soviet Far East, the region is… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Birobidzhán — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Birobidzhán Биробиджан ביראָבידזשאן Escudo … Wikipedia Español
Birobidzhan — or Birobidjan [bir΄ō bi jän′] autonomous republic of Khabarovsk territory, E Siberia: set aside for Jewish settlement in 1934 (current pop. is 4.2% Jewish): 13,895 sq mi (35,988 sq km); pop. 218,000: officially called Jewish Autonomous Region … English World dictionary
Birobidzhan — /bir oh bi jahn /, n. the capital of the Jewish Autonomous Region, in E Siberia, in the SE Russian Federation in Asia, W of Khabarovsk. 82,000. Also, Birobijan. * * * ▪ Russia also spelled Birobidžan city and administrative centre of… … Universalium
Birobidzhan — Original name in latin Birobidzhan Name in other language Birabidzhan, Birobican, Birobidjan, Birobidschan, Birobidshansk, Birobidzan, Birobidzana, Birobidzanas, Birobidzhan, Birobidzhn, Birobidzjan, Birobidzsan, Birobidan, Birobidan, Birobidana … Cities with a population over 1000 database
Birobidzhan — geographical name city Russia in Asia capital of Jewish Autonomous Oblast population 86,300 … New Collegiate Dictionary
Birobidzhan — Birobidjan La place centrale de Birobidjan. Birobidjan (en russe : Биробиджан ; en yiddish : ביראָבידזשאַן), est une ville et le centre administratif de l … Wikipédia en Français
Birobidzhan — noun The capital city of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Russia … Wiktionary
Birobidzhan — Bi•ro•bi•dzhan or Bi•ro•bi•jan [[t]ˌbɪr oʊ bɪˈdʒɑn[/t]] n. geg the capital of the Jewish Autonomous Region, in E Siberia, in the SE Russian Federation in Asia, W of Khabarovsk. 82,000 … From formal English to slang
Birobidzhan — /birəbiˈdʒan/ (say beeruhbee jahn) noun → Jewish Autonomous Region … Australian English dictionary