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Law #644 from the Levanda Index

Czar: Nicholas I
Year: 1851

Editor's Note: Because of overcrowding and economic competition in the Pale, it was desirable for Jews to seek permanent residence outside the Pale. One potential method was for the husband to convert to Christianity and essentially claim his family was no longer Jewish. This decree eliminated that prospect. Part 2 of this decree may be an example of the Senate acting in its capacity as a Supreme Court.

644. -- April 9. Imperial Ratification of the Opinion of State Council, promulgated May 31. --

On the illegality of either a Jewish husband or wife, if both are not converted to the Christian faith, permanently residing in gubernias where Jewish settlement is prohibited.

His Imperial Majesty, considering the State Council conclusion from the loyal report of the first three departments of the General Assembly and head of the Governing Senate, on permitting Jews registered in the Petty Bourgeois Estate, in this consisting of husbands, taking the rites of the Christian faith, is pleased to imperially order: 1) In those cases when a Jew takes the Christian faith, while his wife remains in the former faith, and the marriage, on the strength of Statute 83 of the Citizenship Law (Law Codes Vol. 10), will not be dissolved, then neither one is permitted to permanently reside in gubernias where Jewish settlement is prohibited. 2) On these grounds, leave it to the Governing Senate to permit, in the affair of the families of the Petty Bourgeois Jews Rubinshtern and Brozgalova (in which the present question arose), taking the rites of the Christian faith.
(V.P.S.Z. Vol. XXVI, No. 25,106).

Comments and corrections welcomed. Send to Michael Steinore