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Yevsektsyia - Definition

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Yevsektsiya - To rival the Bund and the Zionists, the Soviets created the Yevsektsiya, (Yevreyskaya sektsiya - Hebrew section) (also Yevsektsia, Yevsekzia) of the Boshevik party, led for most of its existence by Semion Dimanstein. Its first congress was held in October of 1918. In addition to absorbing members of the Bund and Poalei Tzion, the major purpose of the Yevsektsiya was supposedly to marshal world Jewish support for the Bolshevik revolution and the USSR, and favor Jewish support of the dictatorship of the Proletariat.

Eventually, the Soviets created the Birobidjjan autonomous oblast in a desolate part of Eastern Russia as a rival "Jewish Homeland" and promoted a Russified form of Yiddish which had carefully eliminated all traces of Hebrew. With the establishment of Birobidjan, the Yevsektsia was dissolved. Few Jews could be induced to come to Birobidjan however. Following the 1937 purges,  Yiddish publications were banned for a time. Dimanstein was purged and the Birobidjan project was more or less abandoned.

Synonyms and alternate spellings: Yevsektsia, Yevsekzia, Yevsekzya

Further Information:   Marxist anti-Semitism

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel


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