Jewish Farmers
in Russia Fields

(Kherson, Ukraine)

Translation of
Khaklaim yehudim b'arvot Russia

Edited by Tzvi Livneh-Lieberman

Published by Ha'Kibutz Ha'Artzi, Ha'Shomer Ha'Tzair, Merkhavia, Israel 1965



Project Coordinator & Translator

Moshe Kutten



Yocheved Klausner & Rafael Manory


Our sincere appreciation to the daughters of Tzvi Livneh-Lieberman z”l,
Ms. Rachel Kafri and Ms. Dinka Peled, for permission to put this material on the JewishGen website


This is a translation from: Khaklaim yehudim b'arvot Russia (Jewish Farmers in Russian Fields),
Edited by Tzvi Livneh-Lieberman, Published by Ha'Kibutz Ha'Artzi, Ha'Shomer Ha'Tzair, Merkhavia, Israel 1965 (H)

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
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[Page 3]



On Russian


Sifriat Ha'Poalim

Published by the Kibutz Ha'Artzi, Ha'Shomer Ha'Tzair, Merkhavia, Israel

[Page 4]


Jewish Farmers


Russian Fields[1]

The chapter: Toldot – Historical Review – authored and edited by Tzvi Livneh-Lieberman

The memory chapters –collected and edited by the initiating committee with the involvement of Tzvi Livneh-Lieberman

The Story “Ba'aravah” [“On the Prairie”] by D. Tverdovsky as well as the article about “A Jewish Colony in the Year 1823” were translated [to Hebrew] by Shimshon Meltzer

The memory poems by Mordekhai Pitkin, were translated [to Hebrew] by Immanuel Ha'Rusi

Helping with the reading and editing of various chapter were:

Diklah Golomb, Yehuda Slutzki and Khayim Halperin


The maps of the region on pages 423–428, were established by Yosi Mestchekin.

The editor: Yosef Wilfned

Graphical editing: Tzvi Zohar



All rights reserved to Sifriat Ha'Poalim Ltd.

Published in Israel, 1965, 5725

[Page 5]


Title Author Page Original
With the Book Israel Ben Eliyahu, Mordekhai Khalili and Mordekhai Simkhoni 7
Introduction Khaim Halperin 9
Toldot – An Historical Review Tzvi Livneh-Lieberman 13
A. An Historical Background
    The Jews during the Partitions of Poland 15  
    From the Bad to Worse 19  
    The Mission of the Senator Dyezhavin 21  
    The Committee for Remedying the State of the Jews and 1804 Regulations 23  
    The Atmosphere and Notables 25  
B. The Settlement in Its Beginning
    First Attempts 31
    The First Colonies 33  
    The Decline of the First Wave 35  
    The Abolition of the Expulsion Decrees from the Villages 39  
    The Troubles of the Settlers during the Second Decade 41  
    A New Awakening and its Decline 44  
    The Second Wave of Settlers 47  
    Once Again—a Drought and its Consequences 49  
    The Accusation 50  
C. The Period of Nikolai the First
    New Proposals 55
    Nikolai's Army Recruitment Decrees 56  
    Regulations for the Encouragement of Jewish Settlement 61  
    The “Siberian Plan” 64  
    The “Retraction” from the Siberian Plan 67  
    The Return to the Settlement in Kherson 69  
    Under the Mercies of Officials and Patrons 71  
    Torturous Journeys 73  
    Criticism and the Review of the Complaints 75  
    The Continuance of the Settlement 77  
    The Jewish Public and the Settlement 79  
    The New “Jewish Affairs Legislation” 82  
    The settlement in Ekaterinoslav Province 86  
    Changes in Management – Yet Again 89  
D. The Settlement During the Reign of Alexander the Second
    Years of Calamities 95
    Islavin's Reports 96  
    The Problem of the Supervision in the Settlement 98  
    About Rabbis and Melameds 100  
    Kherson's and Ekaterinoslav Colonies are Center Stage Again 102  
    Improvement and Stabilization 105  
    The Situation after the Peasants' Emancipation, during the 1860s 107  
    Klaus's Report in 1870 111  
E. Acclimatization and Struggles
    When the Hatred Waves Swell 115
    Under the Signs of Awakening and Renewal 116  
    The Settlement Movement at a Turning Point 119  
    The Census of 1898–9 122  
    Estate Owners and Lessees 124  
    Under Signs of Wealth and Progress 126  
    In the Days of the World War and Russian Revolution 128  
F. Flourishing Ahead of the Holocaust
    The Settlement is Renewed with the Assistance of Jewish Organizations 134
    The Settlement Enterprise at its Peak 136  
    The Decline and its Reasons; the Holocaust 140  
Folklore Chapters
    Ba'arva (On the Prairie) David Tverdovsky 145
    Poems of Remembrance Mordekhai Pitkin 177  
    Sdeh Menukha Ha'Gdola Menakhem Ben-Sadeh 185
    Sdeh Menukha Ha'Ktana Tzvi Shadmi, Sara Shadmi, Leibel Kahanov, Yehuda Menukhi, Ben–Tzion Komarov, Shternah Ninberg, Mordekhai Simkhoni, Israel Ben Eliyahu, Mordekhai Khalili, Rakhel Pnini, Azriel Pnini 189
    Sehaidak Khaim Cohen, Tzipora Kaminker, Avraham Toren & Israel Zeltzer 231
    Netchayevka Moshe Avigal (Beigel) 241
    Novo-Vitebsk Rivka Guber 248
    Ruzhany Mordekhai Guber 256
    Kil'yanovka Breina Likhtman 257
    Novo–Poltavka Yehoshua Medem, Rachel Yehudai 260
    Nahar Tov Ha'Gdola [Greater Nahar Tov] Israel Betzer, Yehudit Guzman, Nesya Avidov, Khaia Berkin, Atara and Nakhman Parag, Yehoshua Dukhin, A Gurevitz, Leah Palkov-Lev, Itah Hurvitz, Moshe Yevzori-Yevzorikhin, Yehudit Simkhoni and Yehuda Yevzori 267
    Yefeh–Nahar and Dobroye Yehoshua Bar–Dromah, Tzipora Bar–Droma–Gallili 341
    Pavlova and Konstantinova Arye Rozhenski 348
    Inguletz Malka A'haroni 350
Memories about the Colonies After the Revolution
    The Colonies during the Days of Calamities Mordekhai Simkhoni (Geva) 354
    In the Hakhshara [Pioneer Training] in the Colonies Zeev Dor Sinai 359
    The “Volga Guard” Group Israel Heller 362
    A Stack of Letters from the Colonies Yehuda Erez 371
    The Colonies after the Revolution David Tribman 376
    The Rehabilitation of the Jewish Agricultural Colonies in Southern Ukraine Agronomist B. Gorshtein 383
From the Literature
    A Jewish Colony in Russia in the Year 1823   389
    Jews who Work the Land Yosef Perl 393
    The Kingship Gives Land to the Jews Mendele Mokher Sfarim 397
    Jews who Work the Land Aviezer Mi'Kandiya 401
Appendices   403  
    Appendix A – Stopping the Settlement in the Western Provinces (In 1859) 405
    Appendix B – The Agricultural Settlement throughout Russia in the Year 1856 408
    Appendix C – The Settlement in Kherson and Ekaterinoslav at the end of 1885 409
    Appendix D – The State of the Jewish Settlement in the Western Provinces at the End of 1880's 411
    Appendix E – The Jewish Settlement in Bessarabia 412
    Appendix F – A review of the Agriculture in the Jewish Colonies in the Ukraine (Until 1926) 415
    Appendix G – Birobidzhan – The autonomous Jewish District 421
Maps   423
Bibliography   429
Dates in the History of the Jewish Agricultural Settlement   430
List of Pictures

    Name Index
Organizations of and for Jews
    Jewish Colonies

1. Note: Exact translation: Jewish Agriculturalists on Russian Prairies


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