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Money, Power, and Influence in Eighteenth-Century LithuaniaThe Jews on the Radziwiłł Estates$
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Adam Teller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798440

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798440.001.0001

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Jews and Jewish Communities in the Urban Economy

Jews and Jewish Communities in the Urban Economy

(p.43) Two Jews and Jewish Communities in the Urban Economy
Money, Power, and Influence in Eighteenth-Century Lithuania

Adam Teller

Stanford University Press

Towns were the main setting of Jewish life on the estates, with Jews there contributing greatly to the urban economy and bringing significant revenues to the Radziwiłł administration. The Jews’ importance in the economies of both large and small towns was felt most in their domination of trade, and in particular alcohol sales. In terms of direct taxation, individual Jews seem to have paid proportionately less than non-Jews. However, both individual Jews and communities were called on to make extensive unofficial contributions, while communities also made extra payments, such as those for rabbinic licenses. Both the community councils and the rabbis acted as unofficial agents of the administration, responsible for managing the Jewish population and its economic activity. Despite this, wealthy Jews who served the Radziwiłłs directly could exempt themselves from communal jurisdiction, creating a new socioeconomic elite.

Keywords:   communities, rabbis, Słuck, urban economy, Jewish taxes

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