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Jews in Poland and Russia: 1881-1914 v. 2$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113836

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113836.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Women in Jewish Eastern Europe

Women in Jewish Eastern Europe

(p.336) Nine Women in Jewish Eastern Europe
Jews in Poland and Russia: 1881-1914 v. 2

Antony Polonsky

Liverpool University Press

This chapter studies the history of Jewish women in eastern Europe. In the period between 1750 and 1914, the patriarchal character of Jewish society and the inferior position of women within it was increasingly undermined. Initially this created a crisis of the Jewish family with rocketing divorce rates and other social pathologies, including girls running away from home in order to convert to Christianity or becoming involved in prostitution. In the course of the nineteenth century, attitudes changed: more provision was made for the education of Jewish women; attempts were made to deal with social problems like prostitution; and marriage became more stable as the age of marriage rose and a greater degree of equality between its partners was established. However, the apparent impossibility of the Jews achieving full civil rights in the tsarist empire and social integration elsewhere, and the continuing social and economic crisis of the community, impeded the achievement of an appropriate role for Jewish women in religious and social life. As a result, this issue remained a central problem in Jewish life after 1914.

Keywords:   Jewish women, eastern Europe, Jewish society, Jewish family, prostitution, Jewish education, Jewish marriage, Jewish life

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