Sheftel, Mikhail

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SHEFTEL, MIKHAIL (1858–1922), jurist and communal leader in Russia. Born in Zhitomir, Sheftel became one of the most noted lawyers in Russia. After the pogroms in *Kishinev, he took part in the judicial inquiries aimed at clarifying the circumstances surrounding the pogroms and exposing their political nature to the Russian public. He was a member of the central committee of the League for the Attainment of Equal Rights for the Jewish People in Russia. In 1906 he was elected to the Russian parliament (*Duma) as deputy from Yekaterinoslav (Dnepropetrovsk) and joined the Kadet (Liberal) faction. When the Duma was dissolved, Sheftel was among the signatories to the "Vyborg Manifesto" and in consequence was sentenced to three months' imprisonment. He was active in Jewish communal and scientific associations in Russia and contributed to the Yevreyskaya Entsiklopediya and to the Russian-Jewish press. He also took part in the activities of the Jewish Society for War Victims (*yekopo), which gave assistance between 1915 and 1919 to Jewish refugees and expellees from areas near the front in Western Russia.


Yevreyskiy Vestnik, no. 4 (1922).

[Yehuda Slutsky]