NOTKIN, NATA (Nathan Note of Shklov, also Nathan Shklover; d. 1804), Russian merchant and army contractor. Notkin was a champion of the improvement of the status of Jews in Russia at the beginning of the 19th century. Born in Shklov, he lived in Mogilev and later in Moscow and St. Petersburg. He was introduced by General Zorich, the squire of Shklov, to Count Kurakin, and used this opportunity to act in behalf of his fellow Jews. He presented the count with a project for the establishment of large-scale agricultural colonies for the Jews of "New Russia" as well as plans for industrial plants near the ports of the Black Sea, which he hoped would direct the Jews to productive labor. Toward the end of 1802 he was invited by G.R. *Derzhavin to be a member at the Committee for the Betterment of the Jews. In all of his writings and projects Notkin tried to demonstrate to the government ways to improve the condition of the Jews, e.g., the gradual removal of Jews from the liquor business, the establishment of Jewish schools, and the direction of Jews toward productive labor. Notkin was one of the founders of the St. Petersburg Jewish community.
[Encyclopaedia Judaica (Germany)]