Eastern Yiddish-speaking Jewish in Russia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The fall of the Soviet Union brought a big change to the lives of the Russian Jews. Most chose to leave Russia and go to Israel, the USA, Canada or Ukraine. One can fully understand why the Yiddish speaking Jews left Russia. Throughout Russian history the Jews were subject to periodic persecutions call pogroms. The Jew were forced by the Russian government to live in special Jewish towns. From time to time, their villages were burned down and their property stolen. Some were killed and others forced to leave their homes and move to another Jewish area. Only small fraction of Jews who once lived in Russia remain there. One of the unique features among European Jews is the distinction between the Ashkenazic Jews and the Sephardic Jews. The word Ashkenazi is derived from a biblical word for the larger Germanic region of Europe. Therefore, Ashkenazim Jews are those whose ancestry is linked to that area. This group traditionally speaks the Yiddish language, which is a German dialect that has Hebrew and Slavic elements. The word Sephardi was the name used by Jews in medieval times for the Iberian Peninsula. Sephardim Jews, then, are the descendants of the Jews who lived in Spain or Portugal prior to expulsion in 1492. Sephardim also have a distinctive language called Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish. This is a dialect of Castilian Spanish with Hebrew and Turkish elements. During the last few centuries, Eastern Europe had the largest Jewish population in the world. National attitudes toward the Jews were ambivalent, depending on the usefulness of the Jewish inhabitants to the nations' rulers. Anti-Semitism was prevalent and frequently led to either persecution or expulsion. The Holocaust of World War II was the climax of Jewish persecution in Europe, leading to the extermination of six million Jews. Many European countries lost the majority of their Jewish population in this tragedy.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, former Soviet Jews no longer live under oppressive government rule. Anti-Semitism is still a concern, but Jewish life has been revitalized in countries like Ukraine and Russia. Synagogues are functioning and kosher (traditional, acceptable) food is once again available. The Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe is cause for concern among the remaining aged Jewish population. As the older Jews die, the Jewish community dwindles. Many of the younger Jews are not familiar with their Jewish identity. They are either non-observant or have assimilated into the prevailing culture. However, there are strong efforts to maintain a Jewish presence and clarify their identity. Jewish schools are being opened and Judaic studies are being promoted in universities. Jewish hospitals and retirement homes are being built. Community centers also promote cultural events such as the Israeli dance, theater, Yiddish and Hebrew lessons, and sports.

Because of the uniqueness of their history and culture, Yiddish-speaking Jews have a strong sense of identity. Persecution of and discrimination against the Jews have been the historical reasons for their migrations and settlements in other parts of the w
What Are Their Beliefs?

For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate Judge of human affairs. God revealed Himself in the Torah or Law of Moses. The religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. European Jews are extremely diverse in religious practice. The Ashkenazic Jews are the most prevalent, representing the Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movements. The unusual and adamantly traditional Hasidic movement was born in Poland and has gained a strong following in the United States and Israel. The Sephardic denomination is similar to the Orthodox Ashkenazic but is more permissive on dietary rules and some religious practices. Each Jewish denomination maintains synagogues and celebrates the traditional Jewish holiday calendar. While most European Jews are religiously affiliated, there is a significant minority which is not religious.

What Are Their Needs?

The Jews have a wonderful understanding of the Abrahamic covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who has fulfilled that covenant. Pray that as the gospel is shared, it will not be viewed as anti-Semitic, but rather as the fulfillment of what God promised through Abraham centuries ago.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth loving Christ followers to work among the Jewish communities. Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the mission agencies that are focusing on the Russian Jews. Pray that the Jewish people will understand that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of the Jews towards Christ followers so that they might hear and receive the message of salvation. Pray that God will grant Jewish believers favor as they share their faith in Christ with their own people. Pray for a movement to Christ among the Jewish communities in Russia.

Scripture Prayers for the Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking in Russia.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiddish_dialects#Eastern_Yiddish https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/history-and-development-of-yiddish

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking
People Name in Country Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking
Natural Name Eastern Yiddish-speaking Jewish
Pronunciation YIH-dish joo
Alternate Names Jew, Yiddish-Speaking; Jewish; Yiddish Jewish
Population this Country 1,700
Population all Countries 794,000
Total Countries 12
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12350
ROP3 Code 104247
ROP25 Code 303368
ROP25 Name Jewish
Country Russia
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Scattered.   Source:  Ethnologue 2020
Country Russia
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Scattered..   Source:  Ethnologue 2020

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Religion Subdivision: Judaism
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Yiddish, Eastern (1,700 speakers)
Language Code ydd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Yiddish, Eastern (1,700 speakers)
Language Code ydd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Yiddish, Eastern
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  paul prescott - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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