Jewish autonomous region overview
Jewish autonomous oblast (region) (also spelled Yevreyskaya on Russian) is a part of Far-Eastern federal district of the Russian Federation with the administrative center in Birobidzhan. In the south the region borders on China (along the river Amur).
The population of Jewish autonomous region is about 173,000 (2012) on the territory of 36,266 sq. km.
Jewish autonomous region history
On May 7, 1934, the Jewish national district founded in 1930 received the status of autonomous oblast. After all other autonomous republics of Russia were reformed in 1990s, the Jewish autonomous region remained the only autonomous oblast.
The region differs from other national autonomy in Russia (before - in the former USSR) in its unique history; it was founded in the early 1930s as a national-territorial region for people migrating there during Soviet power, this territory has never been a place of Jews compact living.
Jews were migrating to this region in 1920-1930s and their descendants have never been a majority of population of the region, and after large repatriation to Israel in 1970-1990s they remained a small minority here.
Nowadays over 15,000 repatriates migrated from Jewish autonomous region are living in Israel, over 5,000 of them are living in the city of Maalot, making a half of city’s population.
Repatriates from Jewish autonomous region come at all-Israel meeting every year. But the status and the name of autonomous oblast still remain supported by unique symbolic and cultural coloring and history.
Jewish autonomous region nature
Jewish autonomous region features
By its natural and climate conditions Jewish autonomous region refers to one of favorable places in the Far East of Russia. Its territory is presented by two types of relief - mountainous and plain land.
Mountainous regions are the southern part of Hingano-Bureinskaya mountain chain occupying half of the territory. The plain in the south and east is the western part of Middle-Amur lowland.
The climate of the region is of monsoon type. Winters are cold with little snow (average temperature in January is from -21 degrees Celsius in the south to -26 degrees C in the mountains), summers are warm and humid.
Fertile lands as well as deposits of natural resources, the rivers Amur, Bira, Bidzhan, large forests are the main features of the region. Out of 2.2 million hectares of forests 170 hectares are cedar ones, 223,000 h. - silver fur-tree, 145,000 h. - deciduous forests. The timber stock is about 167,000,000 m3.
In south-west, south and south-east the territory (584 km long) of the region is washed by one of the greatest rivers of the continent - the Amur. It is 1.5 km broad near western borders of the region (at the settlement Pashkovo), and 2.5 km - at the eastern borders. Meat and milk producing and poultry farming are important branches of agriculture of the region.
Jewish autonomous region resources
On the territory of the region the deposits of over 20 minerals are found and prospected, such as: iron, manganese, tin, gold, graphite, magnesite, zeolite, there are curing mineral springs. Jewish autonomous region is one of the richest in Russia in number and concentration of deposits and mines.
But natural resources are not fully studied or prospected. Besides, most of raw material is taken to other regions, there is a little of processing plants. The most promising deposits should and might attract Russian and foreign investors’ attention. This could have helped in using the deposits more effectively.