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Voskhod

VOSKHOD

VOSKHOD (Rus. "Dawn"), a periodical in the Russian language published in St. Petersburg from 1881 to 1906. The magazine was established by Adolph *Landau, who transformed his annual literary-scientific publication Yevreyskaya Biblioteka ("Jewish Library") into a monthly. Early in 1882 Landau added a weekly supplement to Voskhod called Nedelnaya khronika Voskhoda ("Voskhod Weekly Chronicle"). From 1885 to 1899, this was the only Jewish periodical published in Russian and it served as the vehicle for the Russian-Jewish intelligentsia which had not severed its ties with Judaism. Although the subscribers (who numbered more than 4,000 in the 1890s) were scattered throughout Russia, they were especially numerous in the southern districts of the Jewish Pale of Settlement.

Among the most important associates of the magazine were S. Grusenberg, who edited the weekly Chronicle, and S. *Dubnow. In the late 1890s, when Landau had to interrupt his work with Voskhod for prolonged periods because of ill health, Grusenberg served as its editor. Dubnow commenced his work with Voskhod by writing sharp polemical articles on religious and educational reform for Jews and later edited its department of literary criticism. He also published certain historical studies, as well as "Letters on Old and New Judaism," first stating his theory of *autonomism, which ran counter to the views of the editors of Voskhod and their sympathizers.

Two principles guided the editorial policy of Voskhod: confidence in progress and faith in the ultimate triumph of Russian Jews in their struggle for complete emancipation, and the conviction that because Russia was the homeland of its Jewish citizens, solutions to both internal and external Jewish problems had to be found within Russia itself. Although Voskhod was not against the idea of a limited settlement of Jews in Ereẓ Israel, it opposed the *Ḥibbat Zion movement and was particularly antagonistic to Zionism. At the same time, the journal opposed total assimilation, advocating the preservation of national-religious Jewish values while encouraging Jews to become more familiar with the Russian language and culture. It also fostered the idea of developing a Jewish literature in the Russian language. Voskhod called upon the Russian Jewish intelligentsia to remain close to the masses of the Jewish people and to devote themselves to the public struggle for Jewish rights, participating as individuals in organized Jewish community life, education, and social welfare. The magazine also hoped to raise the standards of the rabbinate in Russia by establishing a theological seminary similar to those of Western Europe. It also suggested a plan for increasing the productivity of Russian-Jewish economic life by having Jews engage in physical labor, especially in agriculture.

Between 1881 and 1884 Voskhod courageously called for a Jewish self-defense organization. Its polemic outcries against the Russian authorities, anti-Jewish laws and acts, and the hostile Russian press were regarded as one of the chief tasks of the editorial board, which devoted a special section to the problem, "Echoes of the Press." In 1891, after two warnings, the magazine was suspended by the government for six months. When it was resumed, it had to submit the material of its weekly edition to the censors prior to each publication, a procedure which sharply curtailed its freedom of expression.

Voskhod published studies by A.A. *Harkavy, the basic historical research of S. *Bershadski on Lithuanian Jews and of V. *Nikitin on Jewish agricultural settlements in Russia, and the essays of S. Dubnow on the history of Ḥasidism. It also introduced the works of the historians S. *Ginsburg, Y. *Hessen, P. *Marek, S. Posner, I. *Zinberg, and others. Translations from the literature of the Wissenschaft des Judentums which appeared in Western Europe were also included. As supplements, it offered basic works on the history of the Jewish people, including the writings of Josephus, the Geschichte der juedischen Literatur by Gustav *Karpeles, the History of the Jews by S. Dubnow, an Anthology of Jewish Folk Songs by S. Ginsburg and P. Marek, and a "Systematic Bibliographical Guide to the Literature Pertaining to Jews in the Russian Language." In its "Literary Chronicle" (whose editors included I.L. Gordon, S. Dubnow, and S. Ginsburg), Voskhod reviewed new books on Jews and Judaism in Hebrew and other languages. The attitude of the editors toward the Yiddish language changed in the course of time, moving from a complete negation of its value to an appreciation of Yiddish as a positive factor in shaping both the Jewish image and the way of life of the Jewish masses. Voskhod also gave its attention to textbooks and children's literature. In its "Literary Chronicle," it published translations from the works of K.E. *Franzos, L. *Kompert, I. *Zangwill, E. *Orzeshkowa, and others, as well as numerous historical novels. Among the Russian-language short-story writers who contributed to Voskhod were I.L. *Levanda, G. *Bogrov, M. *Ben-Ami, N. Pruzhanski, and S. Yaroshevski (a prolific, though superficial, writer whose works generally preached assimilation). Articles and reports of events in both the Diaspora and Ereẓ Israel (including correspondences from H. Hissin, M. Meirovitz, and Ḥemdah *Ben-Yehuda) also found their way into the journal.

In the summer of 1899 Landau sold the magazine to a group of young writers (including J. *Brutzkus, L. *Bramson, S. Ginsburg, and M. *Vinawer), some of whom were nationalists and even Zionists. M.N. *Syrkin became the official editor. The declared aim of the new owners was to serve Jews through "… developing [their] national consciousness, [and] raising the cultural level of the masses." In order to compete with the Russian daily press for the attention of Jewish intellectuals in the provinces, the editors attempted in 1900–01 to publish the weekly supplement (whose name was itself changed to Voskhod) as a semiweekly. The new Voskhod carried Zionist articles and many translations from Yiddish and Hebrew. The number of subscribers reached 5,000. In 1903, after the pogroms in *Kishinev, issues 16 and 17 of the weekly were confiscated because of an article advocating Jewish *self-defense. In 1904 the weekly was suspended for six months and some of the material that had been prepared for it was published in the monthly. From 1900, the new Voskhod had to compete with Budushchnost ("The Future"), published by S. Grusenberg. Gradually, an anti-Zionist group led by M. Vinawer took over the direction of the Voskhod; the Zionists left it and in 1904 began publishing a Russian-language periodical of their own, Yevreyskaya Zhizn ("Jewish Life"). In 1906 Voskhod ceased publication.

bibliography:

Y. Slutsky, Ha-Ittonut ha-Yehudit-Rusit ba-Me'ah ha-19 (1970); S. Ginzburg, Amolike Peterburg (1944), 170–83.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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