Jewish Autonomous Oblast

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The Jewish Autonomous Oblast (Russian: Евре́йская автоно́мная о́бласть, Yevreyskaya avtonomnaya oblast; Yiddish: ייִדישע אווטאָנאָמע געגנט, yidishe avtonome gegnt[11]) forms a federal subject of Russia (an autonomous oblast) situated in the Russian Far East, bordering Khabarovsk Krai and Amur Oblast of Russia and Heilongjiang province of China. Its administrative center is Birobidzhan.

Soviet authorities established the autonomous oblast in 1934. It was the result of Joseph Stalin's nationality policy, which allowed for the Jews of the Soviet Union to receive a territory in which to pursue Yiddish cultural heritage within a socialist framework.[12] According to the 1939 population census, 17,695 Jews lived in the region (16% of the total population). The census of 1959, taken 6 years after Stalin's death, revealed that the Jewish population of the JAO declined to 14,269 persons.[13] As of 2002, 2,327 Jews were living in the JAO (1.2% of the total population), while ethnic Russians made up 90% of the JAO population.


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