How to Cite
Kanatyeva, N. S. (2020). The Subbotnik Emigrants from the Astrakhan Province in the Historical Memory of Modern Israel and Russia: Perception and Interpretation. Heritage of Centuries, (3), 96-104. https://doi.org/10.36343/SB.2020.23.3.007

The Subbotnik Emigrants from the Astrakhan Province in the Historical Memory of Modern Israel and Russia: Perception and Interpretation

  • © Kanatyeva Natalya S. Cand. Sci. (Hydrobiology), M. Sci. (History), Assoc. Prof., Astrakhan State University, Astrakhan, Russian Federation


The aim of the article is to determine the peculiarities of the perception and interpretation of the heritage of the Subbotnik emigrants from Astrakhan Province in the historical memory of our contemporaries living in Israel and Russia. The author used the ideographic (descriptive-narrative), comparative-historical, and retrospective methods, as well as the survey method in the study. The materials were articles by 19th-century Orthodox missionaries; research by historians, religious scholars, and culturologists; the content of online blogs on the livejournal.com platform; and the results of an Internet survey that the author conducted. The author examines the factual record of the emergence and data on the settlement of sectarians in Astrakhan Province and analyzes the attitude of provincial officials and eparchy missionaries towards them. She does a detailed analysis of the manifestations of religious identity among the Judaizers, pointing out the generally calm attitude of the latter towards the professed teaching. The author also determines the circumstances of the spread of eschatological and émigré aspirations among them in the 1880s against the background of the nascent Zionist movement and notes the emergence of individuals who were active conductors of these ideas. In modern Israeli culture, the carriers of such sentiments (“grassroot Zionism”) appear to be outstanding people who stand out from among their contemporaries by the very fact of their involvement in Judaism. The author reconstructs the biography of one of such people, Yoav Dubrovin. He became one of the first participants in the movement of Halutzim, pioneers of the development and settlement of the future territory of the State of Israel. Already in old age, he emigrated to the Promised Land with his family. The author describes the difficulties the migrants encountered, which led to the death of many family members, as well as to the subsequent resettlement of the remaining Dubrovins to a new place of residence. At present, a museum is located in the former estate of the Dubrovins. The author reveals the various aspects of the perception of Dubrovin by today’s contemporaries, characterizes the degree of his popularity in modern Israel and among members of the Jewish community of Astrakhan, determines his role in creating the image of pioneers and in the modern cultural heritage of Israel. The author concludes that the majority of the respondents do not know the names of Dubrovin and of other Judaizers, but they show interest in “Halutzim with a Russian face”.

Keywords: sectarianism, Subbotniks, Judaizers, Gery, emigration, Promised Land, Israel, Halutzim