Jewish Communist Party (Poalei Zion)

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This article is about a party in Russia. For the party in Palestine see Socialist Workers Party (Palestine)

Jewish Communist Party (Poalei Zion) (Russian: Еврейская коммунистическая партия (Поалей-Цион), Evreĭskaia kommunisticheskaia partiia (Poaleĭ-Tsion), abbreviated EKP) was a political party in Russia 1919-1922. The party was formed at a conference of communist dissident fractions of the Jewish Social Democratic Labour Party (Poalei Zion), held in Gomel August 10-15, 1919. It was affiliated to the Jewish Communist Union (Poalei Zion).[1][2]


The II All-Russian conference of the EKP was held in July 1920 in Kharkov. The IV Congress of was held in August 1921 and the III All-Russian conference was held 1-2 December 1922 in Moscow.[2]

The party was represented in the Council for Propaganda and Action of the Peoples of the East of the Communist International through Zajma Ostrovsky, who participated in the 1920 Congress of the Peoples of the East, held in Baku, Azerbaijan (part of Soviet Russia).

In its later phase the party passed through severe internal disputes.[2]

In 1922 the party merged into the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks)[1] and many of its members became involved in the Yevsektsiya or Jewish Section of the party.

In Baku[edit]

The EKP occupied a strong position in Baku after the arrival of the 11th Soviet Red Army. The Jewish population of the city grew considerably in those years because of the pogroms committed by the White Army in Ukraine Belarus and Russia that led many Jews to find shelter in Azerbaijan, a country without an antisemitic tradition. The fact that the Jewish population had grown up to 13,700 persons helped the EKP (as well as the Communist Bund, the Yevsektsiya and the Zionist parties) to enlarge its membership in the area. The EKP promoted many cultural activities and struggled for the eliminination of illiteracy, in particular among the Mountain Jews. In 1921 the betsalel circles were opened in Baku. In those places it was possible to organize literature and Jewish drama courses.[3]


The party was led by a Central Committee and a Politburo. The organ of the Central Committee of EKP was Nakanune ('Накануне'). In Ukraine, the party Central Committee had a Right-bank Bureau (Pravbirou) and a Left-bank Bureau. The Belorussian EKP was headed by a Chief Committee. Moreover, the party had a Caucasus Regional Committee.[2] The youth wing of the party was called Jewish Communist Youth Union.

EKP maintained a party school in Kharkov, named after Ber Borochov.[2]

Local organs of the party[edit]

  • Minsk: Budil'nik (in Yiddish)
  • Poltava: Ekapistskaia khronika (in Yiddish)
  • Kiev: Kommunisticheskaia mysl΄ (in Yiddish)
  • Moscow: Kommunisticheskaia mysl΄ (in Yiddish)
  • Nezhin: Kommunisticheskoe slovo (organ of the Pravbiuro)
  • Yaroslavl: Na strazhe
  • Avangard (organ of the Chief Committee of the Belorussian EKP)
  • Molot (organ of the Chief Committee of the Belorussian EKP)


See also[edit]