The objective of this research is to study written evidence of Jewish presence on the territory of ancient Rus. A thorough study of primary sources, which contain information on the origins and dispersal of the Jewish people in territory of modern Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, is in the works. This evidence covers the period fr om the earliest mention of Jews in Eastern Europe in the X century up until 1388, when the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas (Witold) issued the first Charter of privileges to Lithuanian Jews. This marked the beginning of the Ashkenazi settlement in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and marked a new era in the history of East European Jewry and the Jewish-Slavic relations.
The results of the group's work will be published as a book wh ere all data and evidence of Jewish presence in the Ancient Rus in the X-IV centuries is comprehensively collected and commented on by the field’s leading experts. The book will contain texts of different cultures and genres, such as Jewish legislative literature, Slavic historiography, hagiography and homiletics, diplomatic correspondence etc.
Head of the research group:
Dr. Alexander Kulik, professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.