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Cantonists, The

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Cantonists, The: Jews who, by decree of Czar Nicholas I, had been snatched from their families when they were young children for a 25-year term of military conscription.
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Jewish prisoners who spend the High Holidays behind bars are often forgotten. Rabbi Fishel Jacobs spent a career catering to this unseen population.
A fresh beginning for a community founded by forced conscripts
The Jewish community of Omsk, in southwestern Siberia, was founded 150 years ago, largely by “Cantonists,” young Jews who had been forced into the Czarist army for 25-year terms of service as part of a larger 19th-century plan to assimilate the Jewish com...
The Jewish community of Saratov, Russia, welcomed a new Torah scroll to its Great Choral Synagogue on occasion of the shul’s 100th anniversary.
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