Russian Jews in Italy: 1905-1922

Seminar on Russian and Eurasian Jewry
Event Format
In person

This talk focuses on the presence and the role of Jewish émigrés from Russia in Italy in 1905-1922. During this period many Jewish-Russian intellectuals and revolutionaries found both a shelter and a fertile ground for their activities in Italy—above all in Rome, Naples, Florence, Milan and on the Ligurian coast. Several Jewish representatives of the socialist movement (for instance, Mark Slonim) as well as Zionism (Vl. Zhabotinsky first and foremost) were able to live and work in Italy. Among Russian exiles there were many Jewish students registered at Italian universities, and a number of painters and writers. One of them, Osip Blinderman (Félyne), became a well-known Italian novelist and playwright. Following the 1917 Revolution many Russian Jews collaborated with the Italian Socialist Party, sometimes working directly with the first Soviet mission in Italy. There were also connections between Russian Jewish expatriates and members of the rising Fascist movement. Russian Jews made a fascinating contribution to the political life of Italy, to its culture, literature and the arts during what was a turbulent period of the country’s history.

Remote video URL


Cosponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University. The Project on Russian and Eurasian Jewry has been made possible with the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group. Additional support for this event provided by the Yanoff-Taylor Lecture and Publication Fund.


The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or in advance of your participation or visit. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance if possible. Please note that the Davis Center will make every effort to secure services but that services are subject to availability.