Krymchaks - Sociopolitical Organization



By virtue of being a small minority, first in the Crimean Khanate, later in the Russian Empire, and finally in the former USSR, the Krymchaks never had a distinct political structure.

Social Organization. In the past, the main element of the Krymchak social organization was the community centered on the synagogue. Class differences within the community were not hereditary or rigidly fixed, but the greatest influence was enjoyed by rabbis, the well-to-do, and the educated. Practices of mutual assistance and social charity have undergone considerable development. Following the Revolution and the shutting down of Krymchak synagogues, social life was temporarily focused on Krymchak clubs, but even those ceased to exist by the outbreak of World War II. At present any social autonomy for the Krymchaks is out of the question, although in a number of cities they are still striving to maintain informal ties with each other.

Social Control and Conflict.

In the common value system, the forces of public opinion and tradition were sufficient to ensure a high degree of conformity. As a weak minority often facing discrimination, the Krymchaks have been conditioned to a life of conformity, and they strive at all costs to avoid any conflicts with authorities and other ethnic groups.


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