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The Bund by the Numbers: The Ebbs and Flows of a Jewish Radical Party

Joshua Meyers

The Jewish Labor Bund was a major force in Russian Jewish life, expanding the political arena to be more democratic in nature and driving the creation of a new political and economic discourse in Yiddish. So I was shocked to learn that in 1910, the Bund had a mere 609 members—down from approximately 35,000 five years earlier. The speed with which the Bund and other Jewish political parties in the Russian Empire could rise, fall, and rise again reflects the pressures the community was under, resulting in both sober caution and daring, desperate dreams.

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