Евреи Петербурга. Три века истории

City community

City community
City community
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The first Jewish community of St. Petersburg was grouped around Abram Perets, a businessman who lived in Chicherin's house on the Nevsky Prospect. The members of this community came from the town of Shklov and were called Shklov maskils. They had been invited to St. Petersburg as representatives of the Jewish population to participate in the work of the Jewish Committee established in 1802. The Jewish deputies moved to St. Petersburg together with their families, employees and domestic servants. In the same year 1802 the Jews acquired from the Lutheran community some space at the Volkov cemetery with the purpose of making it a Jewish burial site. This was the beginning of the official history of the St. Petersburg Jewish community.Chicherin´s house on Nevsky Prospect
Pinkases, the memorial books of communities, were a type of chronicle. They recorded the most important events in the life of the Jewish community as well as relatively petty details of Jewish life in a township or settlement. Pinkases were also kept in St. Petersburg. Although records in the pinkases were usually kept in Hebrew or Yiddish, the first entries in the St. Petersburg pinkas were made in German, the language of educated Jewry of the period, which was also understandable to the authorities of St. Petersburg. First entries concern the purchase of cemetery land and the death of Nota Notkin, the community's spiritual leader, buried in this cemetery.From the pinkas of the St. Petersburg community
At the city gates, all visitors had to produce documents permitting them to enter St. Petersburg. The majority of Jews had only temporary residence permits at best and counterfeit documents at worst. Some of them penetrated the city without any documents, for a bribe. The Jewish deputies and their companions were temporary yet rather noticeable residents of the capital in the early 19th century. They lived in Petersburg legally. However, many more Jews - contractors, merchants, handicraftsmen - settled in Petersburg despite the official prohibition. The capital of the Empire as the center of the business, political and cultural life of the country, continued to attract Jews. Two hundred and forty eight Jews lived in the city by 1826.The Moscow entrance (one of the city gates). Engraving by Gobert after a drawing by A. Gornostayev

Chicherin´s house on Nevsky Prospect
From the pinkas of the St. Petersburg community
The Moscow entrance (one of the city gates). Engraving by Gobert after a drawing by A. Gornostayev

Chicherin´s house on Nevsky Prospect