B’reshit 1926

Front cover of B'reshit magazine, against a black background. The cover is yellowed and stained. It features a colorful handdrawn illustration of a human figure holding a picture above their head. The figure stands in front of a building, among trees and a bridge.

B’reshit [In the Beginning]. 1926. Druckerei Gutenberg, Moscow. PJ5049.R82 B47x 1926.
Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, Special & Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.

In the first years of Soviet rule, Jewish culture flourished in major Russian cities. A wealth of publications in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian appeared from this rich and vibrant literary scene. However, as anti-religion laws tightened in the 1920s, the Hebrew language was denounced, and Hebrew culture was effectively banned. This single-issue Hebrew literature periodical had to overcome tremendous bureaucratic and technical hurdles to get published despite receiving the censor’s approval and a temporary license to print.