Editor's Note: This decree is one of the important early decrees regulating administration of
Jewish agricultural colonies. Section
1 enumerates all the Jewish colonies that existed in Kherson gubernia in 1837.
There are 19 individual sections in total. Currently, 16 have been translated.
354. -- November 4. Imperial Ratification of the Opinion of
State Council, Promulgated December 16. --
On the administration of Jewish colonies situated in Kherson gubernia.
1. All Jewish colonies situated in Kherson gubernia: Seideminukha, Bobrovyi Kut, Bolshoi Nagartov, Malyi
Nagartov, Yefengar, Kamyanka, Izluchistaya, Ingulets, and Izrailevka, are henceforth to be under the purview
of the local gubernia authorities and the New Russia and Bessarabia Governors-General, as the top officials
of this region.
2. For the purpose of direct and permanent supervision of managing the procedures and customs among Jewish settlers,
in the above-named existing colonies as well as those that will be founded in the future with governmental
aid on Crown lands in Kherson and other New Russia gubernias, a special Custodian is to be appointed to each of them,
retired or granted open-ended leave from the Guards, or a lower officer in the Army of fine conduct.
4. The salaries of these officials and the amounts for other costs in administering the Jewish colonies,
by the accompanying statute (No. 34), are to be waived by the Crown Treasury
for the first two years from the day of ratification of the actual regulation, and after this period are to
be collected by apportioning amongst the Jews themselves.
5. The above-named officials are as listed:
Note. Discharges from military service with dress uniforms continue to wear these uniforms
and are not to be renamed in the civil ranks.
6. The Steward, his Assistants, and the Clerk will reside in the colony of Bolshoi Nagartov, as the
nearest to the center of the other existing Jewish colonies in Kherson gubernia today.
7. All ranks comprising the local administration of Jewish colonies are to be housed in Crown or
community buildings; in places where they do not yet exist, they are to be immediately constructed for
their individual accommodation.
8. The Steward of Jewish settlements, in fulfilling his obligations, will follow the same regulations
decided in the Statutes on foreign colonies (in Vol. 12 of the Code of Laws) as well as the previous orders
and instructions, coming, at various times, from the Interior Minister.
9. The Steward will send newly arriving Jews, for convenience, to the existing colonies formerly established,
and when necessary, set about establishing new colonies with the authorization of the New Russia Governor-General,
setting aside the necessary portions of land, granted overall for the settlement of Jewish colonies.
If, as a consequence, there turns out to be a shortage of land, then to obtain more, he presents to the
Governor-General, who will take the information to the Interior Minister, for appointing one of his aides
to consider and authorize it.
10. The Steward of Jewish colonies in Kherson gubernia, to the extent possible with available resources, should
endeavour to start up in the special schools for children of Jewish settlers instruction in reading and writing Russian
and the primary rules of arithmetic.
11. He, as well, particularly endeavours to contribute to the success of farming in his colonies,
motivating and encouraging the colonists, and with the permission of the Governor-General setting up,
where possible, community plough-land; grains gathered from this community plough-land must first be
used for filling bread supply shops, and after that for the tax payments of those colonists, who somehow
by an accident have become impovershed.
13. Jewish colonists who distinguish themselves working and succeeding in agriculture and horticulture,
are to be presented with awards of certificates of merit and medallions.
14. Barter, businesses of any kind, and goods not naturally produced is strictly prohibited to
Jewish colonists in the colonies. They are permitted to convert from the farmer social class to a trade
and to be registered in the cities only after a 20-year stay as a farmer, and by directly testifying
to the authorities, that in all this time they conducted themselves in a manner beyond reproach and
worked with continual success in the rural economy. Permitting Jews not in the colonist social class to
stay permanently in the colonies, is not allowed under any pretext.
15. Jewish settlers are not to be issued poster passports for an absence of long duration
from the colonies; for brief absences and short trips to the borders of Kherson gubernia they can be
issued appropriate certificates, but for not more than one month, and not more than twice in a year.
16. The Steward of Jewish colonies in Kherson gubernia has the right to punish negligent settlers by
keeping them in custody for not more than 3 days, or assigning them community work for not more than 7 days,
and he can punish with a birch rod the disobedient and depraved, to the extent possible, in any case not
more than 25 lashes.
17. The Steward of colonies is to present detailed reports every six months to the Governor-General,
who communicates the necessary information about them to the Interior Minister.
19. To faithfully achieve these aims, the Governor-General should sometimes survey the colonies himself,
and in addition, dispatch officials specially invested with his power.
Resolved. It is final (V.P.S.Z. Vol. XII, No. 10,668)
Comments and corrections welcomed. Send to Michael Steinore