Presentation on theme: "Russia, the largest country in the world! Russia's landscape and natural resources are as rich as its dynamic past. Official name: Russian Federation."— Presentation transcript:
Russia, the largest country in the world! Russia's landscape and natural resources are as rich as its dynamic past. Official name: Russian Federation Size: 6,601,668 square miles (17,098,242 square kilometers); the largest country in the world, and nearly double the size of the United States Population: 138,739,892 Capital: Moscow Official language: Russian. There are more than 100 other languages and dialects spoken. Currency: Russian ruble (RUR) Climate: Cold winters; mild summers; frigid in the Arctic regions. Products: Coal, gas, oil, chemicals, metals, timber, furs; vehicles, aircraft, weapons, machinery; beef, grain, beets
Russian Jewry is almost exclusively urbanized; furthermore, over 80% of the community is concentrated in major cities (those with over 1 million inhabitants). Of these, Moscow (with over 80,000 Jews) and St. Petersburg (with approximately 43,000) are the two "capital" cities, with 51% concentration of the Jewish population in the state. It is interesting to note that approximately of over 1 million Jews who left Russia for Israel have returned to Russia in recent years. This has led to the formation of an Israeli and ex-patriate Israeli community, mainly in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Jewish community in Moscow is growing at an unexpectedly fast pace with new schools and community centres being established. The pale settlement is where the Jews were made to live. Now they can live anywhere.
The largest communities are to be found in the Russian Federation, with 243,000 Jews, in Ukraine, with 89,000 Jews at the beginning of 2004, and in Belarus, with almost 20,000 Jews.
Until 1772, almost no Jews lived in Russia. Simply because the borders of the Empire were closed to Jews, irrespective of their status. However, after the split of Poland and Lithuania (between 1772 and 1815), the Russian king and queen "inherited" the world's largest Jewish community from the Polish state, when they incorporated a large part of Polish Jewry from the eastern and south eastern part of Poland. In order to limit the numbers of these undesirable new subjects, however, it was decreed that Jews would be permitted to reside within the borders of the Empire solely within a designated area, which was known as the "Pale of Settlement", and whose borders corresponded to those of Poland before to the split. Almost from the outset, Jews in the Soviet Union were subject to comprehensive and massive oppression by the Communist regime, determined to distance Jews from their tradition and force them to assimilate. This campaign practically succeeded: by the time Communism fell in 1991, the Jews of the Soviet Union had lost almost all their knowledge of Judaism, Hebrew, the Jewish people, and Jewish tradition. They had indeed transformed into "Russian" Jews, with a Russian culture, and Russian had become the native language and culture of the vast majority of Jews in the Soviet Union, irrespective of where they resided. Jewish identity and traditions were preserved only in the southern regions of the USSR – primarily Bukhara and Georgia. At the same time, Soviet Jews nonetheless perceived themselves as Jewish, and their identity cards included this as their nationality. Many followed whatever news available about Israel. It is against this background, and the persecution they experienced, that small groups of Jews began to clamour for the right to leave for Israel, which led to the Soviet Jewry campaign.
Jewish art music is music written using Western classical techniques, but with melodic, rhythmic and textual content taken from traditional Jewish folk music. The Jewish art music movement began at the end of the 19th century in Russia, with a group of Russian Jewish classical composers dedicated to preserving Jewish folk music and creating a new, characteristically Jewish genre of classical music. The group founded the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music, a movement that spread to Moscow, Poland, Austria, and later Palestine and the United States. Although the original society existed formally for only 10 years (from 1908 to 1918), its impact on the course of Jewish music was profound. The society, and the art music movement it fostered, inspired a new interest in the music of Eastern European Jewry throughout Europe and America. It laid the foundations for the Jewish music and Klezmer revival in the United States, and was a key influence in the development of Israeli folk and classical music. Jewish art music is a unique blending of traditional Jewish melodic constructs with the rich chromatic harmonies of late Russian romantic music. With the outbreak of World War I and the rise of Communism in Russia, most of the composers active in the Jewish art music movement fled Eastern Europe, finding their ways to Palestine or America. There, they became leaders of the Jewish musical communities, composing for both synagogue and the concert hall.
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