The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

From pork to Kapores: transformations in religious practice among the Jews of late imperial Kiev

Meir, Natan (2007) From pork to Kapores: transformations in religious practice among the Jews of late imperial Kiev Jewish Quarterly Review, 97, (4), pp. 616-645.

Record type: Article


Until recently, studies of Jewish religious practices in Imperial Russia have focused on major movements such as Hasidism and mitnagdism as well as the challenges that Haskalah presented to traditional Judaism. Few scholars have scrutinized transformations in everyday religious practices such as the observance of Sabbath and other holidays, synagogue attendance, and liturgical practices. However, new political, social, and economic realities had generated subtle changes in religious practices even in earlier periods and it comes as no surprise, therefore, that religious practices among Jews during the tsarist period, especially in Kiev, were neither monolithic nor static. This article provides a new perspective on this topic by analyzing patterns of religious practice among Jews in one city – examining personal observance, communal practice, synagogue rites and attendance, and religious education – while providing a broader context of reform in Russia. In large urban centers like Kiev, the pressures and temptations of modern life, big-city anonymity, and the vitality and diversity of Jewish community often led to a transformation of prior belief and behavior among new arrivals. The author concludes that despite the absence of a movement for religious reform in the Russian Empire, we can nonetheless observe innovations and changes in religious life emerging out of the attempt to make observance compatible with modern urban life and a nascent Russian-Jewish identity.

PDF 97.4meir.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (553kB)

More information

Published date: December 2007
Keywords: judaism, russia, kiev, reform, synagogues, observance


Local EPrints ID: 40916
ISSN: 1553-0604
PURE UUID: 4ee61978-7673-4359-bddb-daa0cf183b22

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Jul 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:33

Export record

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.