Jewish Brick and Mortar in the Russian Capital: The Architectural Dialogue between the St. Petersburg Jewish Community and the Tsarist Metropolis
The Professor Bernard Choseed Memorial Fellowship and the Natalie and Mendel Racolin Memorial Fellowship
In this lecture, Dr. Vladimir Levin will consider the uneasy relationship between the architectural oeuvre of the Jewish community and the capital city of the Russian Empire. Although concentrating on St. Petersburg, the talk will address questions and problems that many Jewish communities in European and American cities had to wrangle with. Every Jewish community that settled in a large or small city had to decide how to represent itself vis-à-vis that city, how prominent and visible should their representation should be; what are the ways to express Jewishness in the general cityscape and which means should be employed toward achieving this goal. The lecture will discuss how the Jews of St. Petersburg and their non-Jewish allies looked for a style that was best suited for marking their presence in the city, and how a unique convergence of architecture and manuscript illuminations was created to that end.