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The Administrative Structure Of The Rural Jewish Population

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Chapter Summary

Although Jews are typically perceived as urban dwellers, there was a considerable rural Jewish population in early modern Eastern Europe. Rural Jews are usually treated individually, and existing studies have concentrated upon their relationship with Polish magnates and peasants. Traditionally, urban Jewish communities along with their rural peripheries have been regarded as the lowest rung of the autonomous Jewish administrative structure in the prepartition Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The numerous conflicts between urban Jewish communities and rural Jews in their periphery can now be seen in a completely new light. Jewish regional councils could attach such groups of villages, based on considerations related to the Jewish taxation schedule, or they could form independent Jewish rural communities.

Keywords: Eastern Europe; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; rural jewish population



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