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Confessions of the ShtetlConverts from Judaism in Imperial Russia, 1817-1906$
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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

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Converts on the Cultural Map

(p.231) Epilogue
Confessions of the Shtetl

Ellie R. Schainker

Stanford University Press

The epilogue summarizes how the phenomenon of Russian Jewish conversion, though marginal in number, left an outsized imprint on the cultural map of East European Jews who grappled with questions of Jewish identity and the role of religion in the increasingly powerful Jewish secular nationalist ideologies of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The epilogue explores evolving Jewish attitudes towards baptism, interfaith sociability, and cultural mobility in the late-imperial period, and it puts conversions from Judaism in imperial Russia in conversation with conversions from Judaism in the modern period more broadly. Finally, the epilogue looks ahead to the inter-revolutionary period (1906-1917) and the Soviet period when conversions from Judaism accelerated, accompanied by a growing ethnic conception of Jewish identity whereby national Jewishness found explicit harmony with Christian religious adherence.

Keywords:   comparative conversion, emancipation, radical assimilation, Jewish futurity, Jewish nationalism, Jewish ethnicity, attitudes towards conversion, conversion motivation, Brother Daniel, Mikhail Agursky

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