Jewish Siberia: Russia's Promised Land

Sunday, August 18

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 9:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

About this talk

Siberia is a giant region of Russia that extends from the Ural Mountains in the West to the Pacific Ocean in the East. Usually, it is only associated with frost, snow, prisons and forests. But is it really so? In this talk, we'll learn about Jewish life on this vast territory during the last 400 years.

Jews of the Pale of Settlement tried to escape to America, to Palestine - but some of them chose a different route and went to Siberia looking for freedom. Others were forced to go there (as soldiers, criminals or political prisoners). Rulers such as Nicholas I and Stalin had their own plans on Jewish settlement in Siberia.

We'll explore when and how Jews got to Siberia, where they settled, and what they did there while the country and the world went through major changes. I will also take you to Birobidjan – a Jewish Autonomous region located on the Far East next to the border with China. Today it is still a unique place where a visitor may find the street signs in Yiddish. Temperatures in Siberia change from extreme cold to extreme hot, and so does the Jewish life there.

About Evgenia

Evgenia Kempinski is a Russian Jew born and raised in St. Petersburg. Her family was originally from the Pale of Settlement - Poland, Ukraine and Belorussia. She has been an official St. Petersburg tour guide for over 15 years and she is the founder and owner of St.Petersburg Jewish Tours - a company offering Jewish travelers a unique experience of showcasing the best of the former Soviet Union and Scandinavia from a Jewish point of view. She currently lives in Haifa, Israel.

You will be asked to select one of these options:

General admission - $18

Supported admission - $9

Sponsor this talk  - $36

With your contribution you will also be donating to The Together Plan, a small charity with a big vision - to put Jewish Belarus and Ukraine back on the world map and help isolated Jewish communities find their voice and learn skills for self-development.