Talk:Jewish Autonomous Oblast

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Any photos or paintings of the region and it's cities? It would help a lot with the article.


Older discussions[edit]

By any chance, did the Jewish Autonomous Region issue their own postage stamps?

No, they didn't.

This article should mention and show the coat of arms of the region, which has a field of the very unusual heraldic tincture aquamarine. Can anyone get a copyright-free of licensed illustration? --Daniel C. Boyer 20:14, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

from my talk:

Where did you get the information that this region is also called Birobidzhan. While Birobidzhan is the administrative center (capital can be used, but technically is incorrect) of this autonomous oblast, but, having lived in the near vicinity for most of my life, I have never heard the whole autonomous oblast called this way. Any clarifications would be much appreciated. --Ezhiki 20:20, Apr 27, 2004 (UTC)

i've never been there, and don't speak russian. reverted. Badanedwa 21:12, Apr 27, 2004 (UTC)


Does anyone know why so many Jews went to Germany after the fall of the Soviet Union? Is it because many Jews spoke Jiddische or German and didn't want to learn modern Hebrew?

Imagine you're an absolutely secular person of European culture and your country is breaking apart with everyone talking about the inevitable hardhsips, a civil war or three and what not. Two countries in the world are particularly eager to accept you: one a very parrochial state in the Middle East surrounded by hostile neighbours and plagued with terrorism, another a richer secular European country offering immigration quotas to people of your heritage to atone for some past atrocities. Where would you go? --apoivre 30 June 2005 18:36 (UTC)
Your characterization of Israel as "parochial"—I think you meant religious—is highly incorrect. Israel is a secular state. Its primary concern is with promoting/saving Jewish culture, not with promoting Judaism as a state religion. There is no state religion in Israel. Theshibboleth 00:12, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Israel is economically weaker, life is more expensive, it's hot there and the social institutions are hardly developed compared to europe. As a naturalized German citizen you can settle everywhere in the European Union - it is by far not the case with Israeli citizenship. Terrorism is hardly an issue - there are plenty of other ways to die, though it's not a nice feeling to have neightboring countries wanting to wipe yours out especially if at least one of them has nuclear arms. Though both countries still have military slavery (draft), the German one is four times shorter, less dangerous and only for males - care for children might also be a reason. Also, the situation with human rights is far from perfect - nobody wants to get mistreated by Shin Bet even if it's for highest ideals and for the sake of the country's security. 16:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

When changed from republic to oblast?[edit]

"In 1991, the Jewish Autonomous Region was elevated to the status of an Autonomous Republic [...]"

"Some political observers [...] have proposed resurrecting the Jewish Autonomous Republic"

Somewhen in between it must have been changed to a "oblast".

Actually, while the possibility of JAO becoming a republic was heavily debated, it never actually came into life. Ever since JAO fell under the juristiction of the Federation in 1991 (as opposed to being a part of Khabarovsk Krai before), it remained an autonomous oblast.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) 16:13, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Jews in the region[edit]

About this sentence:

"...was founded with the help of Komzet in 1928 as the Jewish National District. It was the result of Vladimir Lenin's nationality policy..."

This is wrong for several reasons. First of all, Lenin died in January 1924. Second, this nationality policy was introduced by Stalin at a later date. Third, it is also ideologically inconsistent: between 1923-1928 there were major conflicts and changes within the Bolshevik party - one of which is the conflict of 'internationalism vs nationalism' in which Lenin and his close comrades effectively represented the internationalism, while Stalin and his men represented nationalism. So this policy conflicted with Lenins ideology.

Therefore, I corrected the name in this article to Josef Stalin. 20:41, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Autonomous oblasts[edit]

Does it really need both AO cats?

Does the Autonomous Oblasts of Russia cat need to exist, since it applies only here?

If it does, why not as a sub-cat of Soviet AO? Septentrionalis 02:45, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

True. There is only one such entity in this category. Maybe a more general category on the subnational administrative units of Russia is preferable. Then we wouldn't need to change categories every time a unit is upgraded or split off or merged with another one of a different level of self-government. //Big Adamsky 07:18, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

Some political observers — particularly those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause in the Middle East — have proposed resurrecting the Jewish Autonomous Republic as both an alternative to Israel as the Jewish national homeland and as a permanent solution to the ongoing Arab-Jewish difficulties.

Who are these "political observers"? Theshibboleth 00:15, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

've seen an interview of an Israeli Jewish hardcore Stalinist proposing moving there.
Either way that's the dumbest proposal yet. The whole point of Israel being Israel is that Jerusalem is there, Mount Zion is there, what on earth would the jewish homeland be doing in the middle of Russia? There's no mention of this area in the Bible. Might as well send them back to Europe, would be under the same context. Joffeloff 18:06, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
It's not our place to have a discussion of that here, but rather to document it if it's true. --Improv 22:05, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
It wasn't meant to be a debate; I'd say my comments are a surefire way to say that it's non-notable. You know, I could say that the jews could go to the moon with a Saturn V rocket, but it wouldn't be added to the list of Middle East peace proposals. Catch my drift? Joffeloff 07:46, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand how your disliking of a proposal helps us understand it as not notable. The notion of a homeland differs from person to person, and to several (including some sects of the Orthodox), the current Israeli government is not the Israel that would be reborn out of prophecy (that presumably being reestablished by Moshiach upon his return), and this is at best a distraction. As I understand, that faction (which has been around for a long time and has a certain amount of shared people with those who see the ressurection of Hebrew as a day-to-day language as almost sacreligious because they want to keep the language reserved for holy purposes) was considerably more friendly towards Birobidzan and other experiments than they were towards the early Zionist movement. You may, of course dismiss them as ridiculous, but if you ever meet one, be prepared to argue :) --Improv 14:15, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
It's not my dislike of the idea, it's me noticing that it contradicts the entire Zionist movement. Anyways, the point still stands; there have been no mentions of this proposal from notable academics and so it is not notable. Joffeloff 14:31, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Not all Jews are or historically have been Zionist. By my understanding of the history of the area, it actually has gotten some coverage as an alternate homeland, both when it was originally created and in more modern times -- not a lot of coverage, but enough to be worth noting. --Improv 15:41, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

It will never rplace Israel as the new Zion.

I came here from Michele Renouf which states "She (MR) now has a website for what she terms "an all round common sense campaign option for the first Jewish homeland" of Birobidjan" and references to Richardson mcphillips (talk) 01:45, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

History section and Russian POV[edit]

I feel the history section is very lacking and side with Russian POV, making it sound like the place was uninhabited and devoid of people and history. There's no mention of Goguryeo or Jurchens's historical occupation of the area:

In Manchu-era the place was part of "East Tartary". During the Qing Empire era there were many Chinese settlements north of the Amur River, which lasted beyond the Treaty of Beijing and finally destroyed/expelled by Russian forces in 1900.

Through history, the territory had belonged to the Kingdoms of Gojoseon, Sushen, Xianbei, Buyeo, Mohe, Goguryeo, Balhae, Khitan (Liao), Jurchen, Mongol, Qing, etc. The current article make it sound like the place had little history and was vacant of people. There's also no mention of the 64 Chinese villages that the Russians destroyed in 1900.

-- Adeptitus 23:52, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Curious about history of flag[edit]

Could anyone direct me to information about the history of the Oblast's flag? I found one website[1] where a commentor mentioned that the Oblast presumably flew the Soviet flag until the fall of the USSR. Is this true? (I am not saying it should be in the article; I just don't know where else to ask this.) How can I find out when the Oblast began flying the current flag, and what the origins of the flag are? Was it modeled on the 'diversity flag' (rainbow flag, queer flag etc) or the other way around? Are the similarities a coincidence? I would appreciate any pointers abot learning this information. Mathtinder 03:50, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

As I can recall, the flag was selected in 1996 in the contest. One little girl painted this rainbow flag. Any ideology can be dragged after the flag is selected. But I think that the two main reasons for this flag are: it is pretty; JAO required its own flag. If you are interested, I found the following quote over the internet (translation from Russian): "JAO flag is accepted 31 July 1996. White color embodies purity in the wide sense - the purity of intentions, light outlooks and undertakings, honest carrying of duties. Rainbow is the Bible symbol of peace, kindness, happiness. Together rainbow stripes imply constant renovation, perfection of thoughts. Number of stripes in the rainbow - seven - corresponds to the number of candles in the Menorah (7-lights illuminator) - one of the most widespread national-religious symbols of Jewish people. Menorah tells about world creation in seven days, and the number of colors in the rainbow pictures the connection with ancient Jewish symbol."

Aaand that link is dead, any chance you can find a replacement somewhere? (talk) 11:35, 26 March 2013 (UTC)


In Birobidzhan there are two synagogues: One of them is in the capital (there are Subbotniks, too). But where- in wich village or town- is the second Jewish synagogue?

The other synagogue, aside from the Birobidzhan Synagogue, is led by Boris "Dov" Kaufman. Culturalrevival (talk) 20:12, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Potentially useful source[edit]

I didn't really follow this one up, but William R. Siegel Nation Making in Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Oblast: Initial Goals and Surprising Results (cached on Google as [2] if you want to avoid the PDF) looks like a good source. It's on the site of Deokratizatsiya: Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization. - Jmabel | Talk 22:02, 28 December 2006 (UTC)


How autonomous is autonomous? The governance of this oblast is not mentioned anywhere in the article, and the details of the ways in which it is autonomous are similarly not explained here, nor in the autonomous oblast article. In addition, I would be curious as to how this came to be the only remaining autonomous oblast. Is it simply because the other ones are not geographically in what is now Russia? Why was this left autonomous after the USSR fell? LordAmeth 13:12, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

I'll try to add something about the nature of "autonomous" when I have time (which may not be for a while). You are completely right—this should definitely be mentioned. JAO used to be administratively a part of Khabarovsk Krai; now it is not, even though it was called "autonomous" back then as well.
As for why this is the only autonomous oblast in Russia, it's because all other autonomous oblasts of the Russian SFSR were at one point or another elevated to the status of the republic. JAO is the only one that remained an AO. Why exactly this happened can be a subject of a separate article :)—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 15:34, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Sometimes you come across one of these random articles, and you're just curious... Keep up the good work :) LordAmeth 19:38, 5 February 2007 (UTC)


The Shapiro dictionary indicates the gender of געגנט as masculine and explicitly translates Московская область as מאָסקווער געגנט. The use of a feminine form in the Yiddish Wikipedia notwithstanding, the masculine form also appears in the Weinreich and Niborski dictionaries. Given that the Shapiro dictionary is an authoritative source for Soviet Yiddish orthography, I feel it should be used in this article pending the explicit indication of a local source that uses the feminine form. --Futhark|Talk 10:38, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Weinreich's dictionary actually says gegnt can be either masculine or feminine. Don't be thrown off by Moskver gegnt; there is no adjective *moskv. Rather, Yiddish, like German, uses the suffix -er to form indeclinable adjectives of provenance from names of cities and countries (a parallel in German is die Berliner Mundart, where Mundart is feminine; with a real adjective it would be die berlinische Mundart). I did ask at yi:װיקיפּעדיע:בית מדרש#Grammar question before changing it, and the answer I got from the (presumably native or at least highly fluent) speaker there was that it should be Yidishe Oytonome Gegnt. —Angr 17:51, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
The Shapiro dictionary does not offer the feminine alternative, nor am I inferring masculine gender from its illustrational moskver gegnt. It is, however, the standard reference for Soviet Yiddish orthography in its fully mature state, and it has not been adequately demonstrated that the clearly more germanified approach generally adopted by the Yiddish Wikipedia is the more correct alternative in the present context. If you can cite warrant for the feminine form in some source more proximal to Birobidzhan there would be no need for further discussion. The recursive ascription of higher authority to the Wikipedia than to an established preexisting published source otherwise strikes me as counter to one of the Wikipedia's own fundamental editorial tenets (and more than a tad paradoxical). --Futhark|Talk 18:29, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not claiming Yiddish Wikipedia as an authority (until quite recently it had Yidisher Oytonome Gegnt, which is simply ungrammatical), but rather the native or fluent speaker at the help desk as well as the one who changed the name of the Yiddish Wikipedia article. At any rate, I agree a genuine authoritative source needs to be found; do we really know that this is the Yiddish name of the oblast at all? Or do we just assume it because the dictionaries tell us that Yiddish for "Jewish" is yidish, for "autonomous" is oytonom and "oblast" is gegnt? —Angr 18:57, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
All of the references that I have seen in Yiddish are either simply to ביראָ־בידזשאַן or to the ביראָבידזשאַנער אויטאָנאָמער געגנט. The most common English term is the Jewish Autonomous Region, usually abbreviated J.A.R. (Why does this article have a hybrid English-Russian title?) A Russian consular attaché would probably be a useful person to ask about citable references to the current local forms of the name, as well as the preferred form of reference to it in English discourse. --Futhark|Talk 19:27, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
J.A.O. seems to be a common name in English too. Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary lists it as "Jewish Autonomous Oblast", as do Encarta and Britannica. "Region" gets more Google hits, though. (Jewish Autonomous Okrug also gets enough Google hits that I just made a redirect for it.) —Angr 19:41, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
The official Web site of the JAR government (using the English form indicated there) is Although it doesn't seem to contain anything in Yiddish, a photograph of the sign on the government headquarters is online at\15005_(9).jpg. It provides as authoritative a statement of the Yiddish name of the JAR as can be, corroborated by a second administrative sign at\15005_(7).jpg, and the text on a local map at\15005_(13).jpg. Shapiro confirms the spelling of "autonomous" with tsvey vovn, rather than vov yud, and I have modified the text in the article accordingly. My needing to take a return look at Shapiro to check this revealed that I had misread the gender indication for gegnt. Although I am embarrassed by — and apologize for — the fuss that I kicked up on the basis of that misreading, at least it triggered a successful hunt for the key piece of information. --Futhark|Talk 11:03, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Stalin's anti-Semitic intent...[edit]

I was just wondering -- could Stalin's anti-Semitic reasons for creating the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (keeping the Jews away from central government and whatnot) have been influenced by his hatred of Trotsky? I'm obviously not very learned on the subject of the USSR, but it is something that interests me... Wobblies 14:19, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

What a bunch of crud. Before you call someone anti-Semetic, maybe you should provide some evidence. See: [3] & [4] --Mista-X 17:59, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I was merely referencing part of the article ("Some have even claimed that Stalin was also motivated by anti-Semitism in selecting Birobidzhan: he wanted to keep the Jews as far away from the centers of power as possible.") As I said before, I'm no surely no scholar. Wobblies 02:29, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

It is a legitimate question. No name-calling please. ALLIANCE MARXIST-LENINIST is a partisan and unreliable source. I suggest you read authoritative scholarly sources. Thanks. ←Humus sapiens ну? 02:34, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh good grief. Look at the damn map! It is plain as a pikestaff that Stalin wanted to deport the Jews to the most remote possible place to get rid of them. This is what Hitler would have done, if Germany was as big as Russia. (talk) 03:05, 22 October 2010 (UTC)captcrisis
Stalin was very likely an ardent anti-semite and would've made a great nazi. I highly suggest you read the Wiki page on Stalin's antisemitism. ~~ (anonymous) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
  • If that's the case, this article is a whitewash of a Siberian "re-settlement" program. I'd to find some other POVs on this subject. Kortoso (talk) 20:39, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
The creation of this territory reflects Russian and Communist anti-Semitism, the USSR's (or rather Stalin's) fear of Zionism - which ran counter to Communism - and was consistent with Stalin's idea of separate territories for ethnic minorities - apartheid. It was not peculiar to Jews.Royalcourtier (talk) 06:16, 1 June 2014 (UTC)


The article says:

Official language
de jure: Russian, Yiddish
de facto: Russian

What would an "official de facto" language be? This compound epythet is a quintessential oxymoron! 13:00, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

It means that though both Russian and Yiddish are designated "official languages" in the constitution, only Russian is actually used in the operation of government (local laws are all written in Russian, not Yiddish etc).--Pharos 14:00, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

According to Constitution of Jewish Autonomous Oblast only Russian is official: Статья 6: 1. Русский язык на территории области в соответствии с Конституцией Российской Федерации имеет статус государственного языка. 2. В области создаются условия для сохранения, изучения и развития языков еврейского народа и других народов, проживающих на территории области. 3. Порядок использования языков народов, проживающих на территории области, определяется федеральным законодательством и законодательством области. Aotearoa (talk) 14:11, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

The signage on the headquarters of the JAO government <\15005_(9).jpg>, and one of the Russian national ministry offices there <\15005_(7).jpg>, is in both Russian and Yiddish. This contradicts your interpretation of the Constitutional wording, which also mandates action to bolster the preservation, study, and development of the language of the Jewish people living in the territory. I agree that such wording should not be read as a declaration of official status, but the way the other references to Yiddish have been stripped out of this article is unjustified. If nothing more is said about this here in the next or two, and nobody else beats me to it, I am going to restore the previous text except for the explicit claims of the language's official status and the updated demographics. --Futhark|Talk 14:51, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
First of all, it's not a Constitution, it's a Charter (it doesn't matter for the purpose of this discussion, but since I am going to refer to this document in this comment, I thought I'd clarify). A Charter/Constitution of any federal subject of Russia specifically names official languages of that federal subject. JAO's Charter names Russian and only Russian as official language. "Languages of Jewish people" are mentioned only as the ones to be encouraged and preserved. "Encouraged and preserved" means used in real life, but it does not mean "official". In my opinion, Yiddish names do belong in the article (as the language is, obviously, important in the JAO), just not in the lead and not in the infobox, because those places are reserved only for the languages which are official (as well as for English, of course) and, as the Charter establishes, the only official language in the JAO is Russian.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 16:34, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
According to Конституция Российской Федерации (art. 68, para. 2), only republics shall have the right to establish their own official languages. Jewish Autonomous Oblast isn't republic and hasn't right to establish their own official languages - only Russian is official in JAO. Aotearoa (talk) 18:51, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Good point, too.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 19:16, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
A language does not require legally mandated official status in order to be put to official use. All legislation in the USA is enacted in the English language, despite the absence of any legislation or constitutional wording designating that language as official. The Swedish language similarly lacks formal status in Sweden, where Yiddish, in fact, does have official legal status as a minority language. The Yiddish signs on the government buildings linked to above clearly illustrate official use of Yiddish in the JAO. Again, I am not arguing that this justifies the claim that Yiddish is an official language of the JAO, but if both federal and local authorities there deem it appropriate to label their offices in Yiddish, it is no less appropriate for Yiddish to appear in the lead text and infobox in the Wikipedia article about that region. --Futhark|Talk 08:30, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
The main sign of the "official use" of a language in Russia is whether or not bureaucracies produce any documents in that language. I am not aware of any local government documents in Yiddish, hence the language is clearly only being "encouraged and promoted" by other means (and speaking of the building signs, if my memory serves me right, Yiddish used to be official language of the autonomous oblast, along with Russian, before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, so the building signs are probably just remnants from those times). Even the official website does not have a Yiddish version (it is available in Russian, Chinese, and, strangely, English)! The lead and the infobox are reserved only for languages with the explicitly declared official status; any other languages which are of importance in the region can (and should) go elsewhere in the article.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 14:55, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
The sign at\15005_(7).jpg is unequivocally that of a ministry of the government of the Russian Federation, and not a relic of the Soviet Union. The contention that "the lead and the infobox are reserved only for languages with the explicitly declared official status" precludes the use of English for that purpose here, or in the article on Russia, or the one on the United States. If there is a Wikipedia policy that restricts the headers and infoboxes of articles about governed territories to the explicitly declared official languages of those territories, even if it generally exempts English, there are likely quite a few such articles needing corresponding revision. Would you please provide an explicit reference to the official statement of that policy? --Futhark|Talk 17:34, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Please don't pick on words. Of course English belongs in both the lead and in the infobox—this is the English edition of Wikipedia! This part has nothing to do with what languages are official on the territory about which the article is written.
As for a "Wikipedia policy that restricts the headers and infoboxes of articles about governed territories to the explicitly declared official languages of those territories", no, I am not aware of a policy like that put in writing. Note, however, that in absence of written policies existing practices take priority, and, as far as the scope of WP:RUSSIA goes, we are only using English and official languages in the lead/infoboxes. Other languages which may be of importance to the territory go elsewhere in the article. If you happen to find an article that's not in compliance with this practice, then yes, it will need to be fixed. If you disagree with this practice, please bring it to the attention of WP:RUSSIA first. Best,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 18:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Native Inhabitants[edit]

Is there anything known about the native inhabitants of the region before the Russian came? Who are they, are they extinct? The ethnic groups named under Demographics all seem to not be native to the region. --::Slomox:: >< 22:09, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

They were probably all extirpated. On a similar note, if the Jewish population has truly declined to only 2% of the population, why is 80% of this article about them? Angry bee (talk) 09:59, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Non-credible figure for modern Jewish population[edit]

I've removed the "speculative" figure of 16%, cited to this travel company website, which claims to be quoting from a book. This figure is so incredibly divergent from every other source it seems most likely the original was 1.6%, and someone just copied something poorly. This is quite apparently a simple error, rather than "speculation", which could produce a round number like 10% or 20%, but never 16%. I have not had a chance to look at the original book myself, but neither did the person who added this, so without evidence to the contrary I think this must go.--Pharos (talk) 07:38, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

turns out Jews indeed made up 16% of the population - only it happened in 1939! Since then the Jewish population has declined both in relative and absolute terms. Keverich1 (talk) 00:17, 29 November 2008 (UTC)


There was a movie (Golem) by Amos Gitai in 1992 about this place. Maybe something should be written about it here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abu America (talkcontribs) 08:33, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Gibberish in "Jewish settlement and development in the region" section[edit]

That section is full of a lot of gibberish. Someone obviously used a machine translator, and a poor one, to translate a bunch of key Russian phrases, and results are not really parseable as English at all. It's just nonsensical blather. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:43, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

There's either a problem with your parser or your willingness to parse. It's perfectly parseable even for my non-native parser. What's the problem? --::Slomox:: >< 12:19, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Official languages[edit]

I have removed Yiddish from the infobox as the infobox is designed to only show the name of the entity in the official languages of the entity (as well as, of course, English). I have already clarified in my edit summary what Article 68.2 of the Constitution of Russia says, but would also like to point out that as per Article 6.1 of the Charter of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Russian language is the only one named as "official" on the territory of the AO.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 13:44, October 26, 2009 (UTC)

We need sources for this. Bring them. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 15:05, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I'll add the Charter as a source. Thanks.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 15:38, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
I have removed the external link to the text of the Charter as it was to an outdated revision which is no longer in effect (one would think that the wrong numbering of the articles should have served as a clue?). The revision of November 7, 2008 is the earliest one that can be cited for the purpose of this article. In addition, if you find a link to a current text of the Charter, please add it to the ru_url field of the {{RussiaBasicLawRef/yev}} citation template.
I have also removed the text of the Charter from the citation—this is not a proper way to go about formatting citations. Thanks.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 19:57, October 26, 2009 (UTC)


Who are the native people of the region? Dont say Russian. Enlil Ninlil (talk) 05:23, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

It depends on what you mean by "native", which, in turn, depends on how far back you want to look. In the 18th and 19th century, for example, the area was mostly uninhabited. Before that, the population was also sparse and included various Tungus, Daur, and Ducher tribes. Hope this helps.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 21, 2010; 14:53 (UTC)

Bad Cite?[edit]

The Demographics section lists percentages taken from 2002 Russian census and cites: Mark Tolts: The Post-Soviet Jewish Population in Russia and the World. Published in: Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe, 2004, No. 1 (52), p. 51. But the link to the pdf in the citation list is dead and I found this link which is apparently the same document: Only a text search of the numbers shows no results (page 51 likely means the 15th page of that document, and it does have a paragraph that starts "According to the 2002 Russian census," but I don't see the numbers listed). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:11, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Autonomous oblasts of Russia be merged into Jewish Autonomous Oblast since it is the only member of this category of Russian entity. At the very least it could be redirected to this article. If another autonomous oblast is created sometime in the future then the "Autonomous oblasts of Russia" article could easily be recreated. (talk) 22:27, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

  • It is unlikely that more autonomous oblasts will be created in the future, but there were some in the past, subsequently transformed into Autonomous Republics. There were even more back in Soviet Union.--Ymblanter (talk) 22:44, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes there were some others in the past, but they became republics before the Soviet Union collapsed, and therefore they are more appropriately categorised under Category:Autonomous oblasts of the Soviet Union. However the "Autonomous oblasts of Russia" article mentions only JAO, so assuming that there were no other AO's created and dissolved since December 1991, it would be better to merge the two articles. (talk) 11:48, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. In the Soviet Union, the autonomous oblasts existed both in Russia (the Russian SFSR) and in other union republics. The only appropriate place to cover the historical entities of Russia is this article. Sure, until someone else cares to actually write about them this stub can be turned into redirect to JAO (or to autonomous oblasts of the Soviet Union#Russian SFSR), but what's the point? A redirect is a much weaker incentive to add information than a stub is, so going the redirect route would simply discourage further development and add more work in the long term. I can't support that.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 10, 2012; 17:45 (UTC)
  • Oppose; because others have existed in the past, we should cover all of them together. It wouldn't at all help to cover other autonomous ones in the Jewish article. Nyttend (talk) 21:02, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose The autonomous oblast as a mechanism has an important role, not just in preparation for autonomous republics. Even if it is a very brief article, let's keep it separate from the JAO article. Also, let us have some brief reference in the introduction or "prehistroy" section of the JAO about previous occupants of the territory. The fact that is was not, in fact. "virgin territory" was one of the problems in establishing the JAO. I think it is important to an understanding of the present ethnic compositionof the JAO to have an explanation somewhere of the Manchurian past. And I would not assume that there might not be other "autonomous" oblasts in the future.Anthonypeterscott (talk) 18:23, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
      • I said Russia. And I said "are". Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:25, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
        No, there were no others in the independent Russian Federation after 1991 (note that the one I brought was in the Russian SFSR, technically meaning Russia), and the argument has been already featured in this discussion.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:30, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
        • Yeah; so why repeat that there were others when that's only true for the Soviet Union. Anyways: while I don't really see how this could be merged here (what's to merge? the one sentence?), I also cannot see why the one-sentence-thing should exist at all. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:37, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

With absolutely no support for the proposed merger, I'm closing this as not wanted. Carolina wren (talk) 08:30, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Names, history, etc.[edit]

It appears the JAO has two alternative names: "Yevrey" [1], which is in Russian: Еврей, and Yiddish (transcription):יעװרײ; and "Birobidzhan" [2] which is, in Russian: Биробиджан, and Yiddish: ביראבידזשאן. We should add these, also, some history as well. You see, Most of the history here is about the Jewish history here. But, the Goguryeo and such kingdoms had land here as well. It was inhabited earlier on by Tungusic tribes. It was also part of the Jin Dynasty's land. It has lots of history relating to East Asia, not just Jewry. And, some grammatical issues must be solved. Thank you! If this is not responded to within 2 days, I will add the information myself. Shikku27316 (talk) 20:04, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Birobidzhan is not a name of the Oblast, it is the name of its capital. If you start adding info on Goguryeo, pls do not forget to supply reliable sources for each non-trivial fact.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:14, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think adding information on Goguryeo is really warranted. This article is first and foremost about the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, which was not established until 1934. Everything preceding 1934 can be described in a few short paragraphs to give readers a basic historical background, but going into great details about the Jin Dynasty, Goguyeo, etc. is quite unnecessary. That kind of information belongs and can be found in other articles, such as, for example, history of Manchuria. —Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 11, 2013; 20:54 (UTC)
But the History section of the U.S.A.'s page talks all about the Native Americans, and mentions happenings before the Norsemen even devised the word "America". It is necessary to put the history of the land here, even before the name or designation of any kind was given to it. I think we should add it. And, as for the names, I did add reliable sources, especially look at "Birobidzhan." The souce was, which is among the most reliable places-if not the most-on Ashkenazi and Yiddish encyclopaedic matters. I'll find sources for the history things, but we should put the names right away. Shikku27316 (talk) 05:24, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
First, the Norsemen didn't come up with the term "America," it was derived from the name of cartographer Amerigo Vespucci later on. Unless by "Norsemen" you just mean white people of European decent in general.
Moreover, I agree and disagree with what you're saying. On one hand, the pre-history of national subdivisions is often included in their articles. And yes, long before there was something called a JAO, there were people living in the territory who, incidentally, weren't remotely Jewish. And that should be touched upon. But at the same time, the JAO has only existed as a sub-national entity in its own right since the early 1990s. Before that, it was part of Khabarovsk Krai, so maybe that's the better place to turn for earlier history.
While the Jewish identity of JAO is obviously important, it does seem to take up a disproportionate amount of the article. There are oblasts much further west with richer Jewish history. And of course, what about the non-Jewish majority that live in the JAO? In some ways, despite its cultural emphasis on Judaism and Yiddish culture, the JAO is just a generic oblast populated mainly by ethnic Russians. This is why it is the only autonomous oblast. It aims to preserve its intended Jewish identity (which is very important, no question), but unlike the Republics, the majority of its populace were never actually of that national identity.
Incidentally, the whole idea of the JAO is kind of comical. It's like if the USA decided to establish a homeland for Hawaiian natives...and then put it in New Hampshire. (talk) 02:44, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually, the Norsemen (and I'm referring to the Vikings, not "white Europeans") did come up with the name. It couldn't be named after Amerigo Vespucci, because it wouldn't be his first name that would be used, because places are never named after the given name. The Old Norse words "omme rike" [ˌoməˈrikə] are phonetically equal to "America". They came up with it when they landed on Canada, and it means "the most remote". (cf. Norumbega, Italicised form of nærom-vikja)
And the Pueblo and Apache lived in Mexican-controlled areas, but are not mentioned in the page for Mexico. We should mention those "Mukriz tribes" mentioned on the maps I saw. Some history was before the Russians even stole the land anyway.
I do think the article should talk less about the Jewish part of the JAO, because if it's only inhabited by a thousand Jewish people, it shouldn't take up too much of the article, which could focus on more important things to the JAO, for instance, the history as a part of Mongolia, and the Tungusic and Mukriz people who were there before.
I do agree that it is a rather comical idea, and–in my opinion–Kaliningrad would be much better than this area. But, it's here to stay. (Personally, I am interested in Ashkenazi Jewish culture, Altaic culture, and Sinitic culture, so this place where they all come together is a wonder for me.) Shikku27316 (talk) 02:50, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
I know this discussion page isn't about the Vikings, but I find that theory questionable. Though the Vikings did land in North America some 500 years before the age of exploration, the whole 1492 thing was essentially the European rediscovery, at which point the floodgates of European colonization were inevitable. It's unlikely 500 year old Viking sources would have played a role in nomenclature for the Spaniards and others exploring in the early 1500s. I see no evidence for that theory being accurate. (talk) 12:39, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, Columbus did go to Iceland a few years before he came to America. And, sources from the Vatican show that many people, such as monks and preists and preachers, went to Iceland and Greenland before Columbus' voyage. But, we can talk more about that on my talk page. Right now, we need to talk about the JAO, so please, let's talk more about the Vikings on my talk page (it is a very exciting topic.) Shikku27316 (talk) 02:00, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I was really curious to see where else the discussion would stray after Vikings :)
Returning to the subject at hand, and to the History section example from the article about the United States, I would like to point out that even there pre-history is covered only in six short paragraphs, four of which deal with the immediate pre-history of the US as a country. There is nothing preventing us from approaching the History section in a similar fashion here—a couple short paragraphs describing the history of the land on which the JAO is currently located and a few more covering the events immediately preceding its establishment should be more than enough. Overly detailed information about Goguryeo et al. really doesn't belong here.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 19, 2013; 11:59 (UTC)
Of course, Goguryeo wouldn't take over the article, but it should at least be mentioned. And, the original topic was names. I'll add them. We really should, considering the sources and all that stuff. Shikku27316 (talk) 02:32, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

P.S. We shouldn't keep talking about the Vikings. More about that should please be on my talk page. Thanks.Shikku27316 (talk) 02:32, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

As you saw, I put the names. The templates were removed because there was created an unnecessary space after the Hebrew letters I think, so. Shikku27316 (talk) 00:04, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Nazi plan[edit]

From :

In the German translation of Snyders book the passage refers to a plan of January 1940 to send the 2 million Jews under Nazi rule (i.e. at that time the Jews of Germany and Poland) to the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in the USSR. This plan is also mentioned here, PDF, p. 18 of 23, based on a newspaper article by Sonja Zekri »Ein neues Madagaskar. Wie Hitler versuchte, Juden in die Sowjetunion umzusiedeln« in Süddeutsche Zeitung of 13 June 2005. A recent newspaper article states that President Medwedjew wants or wanted to attract 2.000 Jewish settlers for the Jewish Autonomous Oblast right now in August, 2013. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 20:17, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

It seems interesting enough to work it into the article. --Error (talk) 00:37, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

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