Jewish Autonomous Region

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Jewish Autonomous Region



(bērōbējän`), autonomous region (1995 pop. 211,900), c.13,800 sq mi (35,700 sq km), Khabarovsk Territory, Russian Far East, in the basins of the Biro and Bidzhan rivers, tributaries of the Amur. The capital is Birobidzhan. The region is bounded on the south by China (Heilongjinag prov.) and on the north by the Bureya and Hinggan (Khingan) mts., which yield gold, tin, iron ore, and graphite. Mining, agriculture (chiefly on the Amur plain), lumbering, and light manufacturing are the major economic activities.

Formed in 1928 to give Soviet Jews a home territory and to increase settlement along the vulnerable borders of the Soviet Far East, the area was raised to the status of an autonomous region in 1934. The Jewish population peaked in 1948 at about 30,000 (one fourth of the total population). Despite some remaining Yiddish influences—including a Yiddish newspaper—Jewish cultural activity in the region has declined enormously since Stalin's anticosmopolitanism campaigns and since the liberalization of Jewish emigration in the 1970s. Jews now make up less than 2% of the region's population.

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Jewish Autonomous Region

an administrative division of SE Russia, in E Siberia: colonized by Jews in 1928; largely agricultural. Capital: Birobidzhan. Pop.: 190 900 (2002). Area: 36 000 sq. km (13 895 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Victor, an ICOR activist who had just returned from a trip to the USSR, including Birobidzhan, delivered a lecture about the Jewish Autonomous Region -- its location, land area, population, and natural resources.
Magnes Museum of Berkeley, California, and the State Historical Museum of the Jewish Autonomous Region, this book is an illustrated history of Birobidzhan from the 1920s - when the idea of a separate Jewish territory was first mooted - to the post-Soviet 1990s.
In: 10th Anniversary, Jewish Autonomous Region, May 1944.
The floods have inundated some 4,380 houses, inhabited by over 27,000 people in the Amur Region and some 959 people in the Khabarovsk Territory and the Jewish Autonomous Region.

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