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  "Jews in Kazakhstan: History, Religion, Culture". The First International conference under this title took place on November 12-13, 2002 in Almaty city. Its importance is hard to overestimate - for the first time the subject for discussion was the theme that has never been investigated before. Two series of articles "From the History of Jews in Kazakhstan" published by the historical circle of "Mitsva" association and "Rimon" JCC deals only with the pre-revolutionary period. The reports presented in the conference also covered the soviet period when Kazakhstani Jews took active part in the development of its economy, science, and culture.

  In Alexander Abramovich's "On the Role of Jews in the Development of Karaganda Coal-Fields", Wulf Breydo's "From the History of Karaganda Medical Institute", Nadezhda Krasikova's "The Role of Jews in Creation of the Industrial Potential of South-Kazakhstani Region" and other reports were mentioned many Jewish names: leaders of industrial production, scientists, educators - first-rate professionals. All the reports presented an overview of the activities of Jews in Kazakhstan in different periods.

  There were 25 reports read out. Participants of the conference represented not only Kazakhstani cities and regions, but also Russia, Kirghizstan, Uzbekistan, and Israel. Materials of the conference will be published in a separate collection.

  In the resulting document the decision was stated to continue investigating the history of Jews in Kazakhstan, discovering archival documents, publishing series of articles and documents.

  The next conference dedicated to migration of Jews in Kazakhstan and Central Asia is planned for the next year.

Isaac Greenberg

Isaac Greenberg
Isaac Greenberg - one of spiritual inspirers of the conference
The history of Jewish people in books
The history of Jewish people in books
Alexander Yarkov
Researchers tell about the history of Jews in Kazakhstan


  I became keen on the history of the Jewish people in 1999. That year I entered the Open Israeli University and today I have certificates of several courses accomplished: "Jerusalem - the city of three religions", "From the history of Jews in Eastern Europe", "Catastrophe of European Jews", "Introduction to the Oral Torah". When gathering materials for my examination paper, I began cooperating with the Jewish Sunday School and Hesed "Faina" in Ust-Kamenogorsk city. Soon after that the president of "Mitsva" association Alexander Baron offered me to study the history of Jews in Eastern-Kazakhstani region. It was impossible to refuse such an offer!

  Since December 2001 I started working in the rear books and manuscripts section of the regional ethnographic museum, the regional archive, and the archive of NSA of Eastern Kazakhstan. At the same time I was investigating the materials of the Center of modern history documents, museum of history and local lore, and Fyodor Dostoevsky memorial museum in Semipalatinsk city. Besides written sources I tried to find people who could answer my questions. The result of my research was the work "Hazara Lemakor" ("Back to the Source"). It became the basis for my report "From the History of Formation of the First Jewish Diaspora in Eastern Kazakhstan" which I prepared for the First scientific conference "Jews in Kazakhstan: History, Religion, Culture" held in Almaty on November 12-13.

  Many guests came to the conference. Participants from Russia, Kirghizstan, Uzbekistan, and Israel prepared reports specially for the conference. The representatives of different nationalities who did not know each other before excitedly discussed the subject which became familiar and comprehensible to them for months of work - the history of Jews in Kazakhstan. There were no indifferent listeners in the auditorium. The participants, organizers, and auditory became utterly absorbed in the exciting search of the truth. Every new report made the image of a Jew who has been living in Kazakhstan for a long time clearer and clearer.

  As a person who took part in such a meeting for the first time, I was trying to catch every word and to gather as much information as possible. The conference helped me to rise to the higher level in the study of my subject. Such meetings are important mainly because everybody can express their own opinion and hear the opinions of others. It was a pleasure to talk with my associates and now I am ready for further work. And what else does a historian and researcher needs?

Nina Krutova (Ust-Kamenogorsk)

Our living memory
Our living memory
Participants of the conference
The history of Jews in Kazakhstan is a subject that unites us
Work does not stop
There were no indifferent listeners in the auditorium
There were no indifferent listeners in the auditorium
Photo of Vladimir Semchuk
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