Judith (Julia) Kalik doesn’t necessarily look like someone who would make an alcoholic beverage the subject of her historical research. She’s religiously observant, is the mother of five children and has three granddaughters, lives in the post-1967 Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem, and teaches Russian and Eastern European history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (She herself is Russian-born, and made aliyah with her family at the age of 6.) But as part of her research on the economic history of the Jews in what was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, she discovered very quickly the crucial role played by Jews in the manufacture and sale of vodka.
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