Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Confessions of the ShtetlConverts from Judaism in Imperial Russia, 1817-1906$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ellie R. Schainker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798280

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798280.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2021

The Genesis of Confessional Choice

The Genesis of Confessional Choice

(p.15) Chapter 1 The Genesis of Confessional Choice
Confessions of the Shtetl

Ellie R. Schainker

Stanford University Press

Chapter 1 charts the institutionalization of confessional difference in the Russian Empire, from Tsar Alexander I and the genesis of confessional choice for Jews in 1817, to freedom of conscience measures instituted by Tsar Nicholas II in the wake of the 1905 revolution, which allowed Jewish converts to all tolerated confessions to legally reclaim their ancestral faith. The chapter uses the 1820 conversion to Catholicism of Moshe Schneerson, scion to the Chabad Hasidic dynasty, to illustrate the conditions in pre-reform imperial Russia (1817-1855) that shaped the conversion landscape for Jews. The tsarist state’s missionary impulse was tempered by religious toleration and the empire’s increasing patronage and sponsorship of a variety of Christian and non-Christian religions. The Schneerson case also highlights how contemporary Jews actively engaged with the problem of Jewish conversion and leveraged their confessional status to vie with the state for control over apostasy and communal belonging.

Keywords:   Moshe Schneerson, confessional state, religious toleration, mission, empire, apostasy, communal contestation

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.