Reviews

Based on a rich archive material (mainly from the Central State Archive of Uzbekistan) and on a significant primary literature in Russian language, this important article evokes the development of school education among the Jewish communities of Russian Central Asia during the late Tsarist period.  Stressing the positive impact of Russian conquest and of the extension of the railway from the Caspian Sea through Bukhara and Samarqand on the first wave of development of educational institutions in the 1880s-1890s, the author also casts light on the limitation brought about by the adoption, during the same period of time, of numerus clausus on the schooling of Ashkenazi children and youths in Russian-led schools and gymnasia.  Separate chapters are devoted to distinct categories of educational institutions: (1) heders of Bukharan Jews that developed in Samarqand since 1830, and spread throughout the Turkistan territory, being joined by analogous institutions led by Ashkenazim; (2) Russo-indigenous schools created by the General-Governorate of Turkistan for the Jewish population from 1900 onwards, on the model of those existing for the Muslims; (3) male gymnasia attended by Jewish pupils from the mid-1896 onwards; (4) specialised institutions like the commercial school opened in Kokand in 1906 (which officially accounted for 19% of Bukharan Jewish pupils one year after its creation).  Pointing out the well-documented decisive role of private initiatives by leading figures of the Jewish merchant bourgeoisie (the Davydovs in Tashkent, for instance), the author also sheds light on the discrepancies introduced by numerous clausus between the schooling of Bukharan Jewish children and youths and their counterparts of other denominations and juridical status.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.1.C-407