When a Jewish Homeland Almost Existed in Stalin's Russia

Russian-American writer Masha Gessen’s 'Where the Jews Aren't' tells the story of the failed Jewish Autonomous Region in Birobidzhan without being treacly or preachy.

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“Where the Jews Aren’t: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region,” by Masha Gessen, Nextbook / Schocken, 192 pp., $25