VERKHNEUDINSK (today Ulan-Ude and part of the Russian Federation), capital city of Buryat-Mongol Autonomous S.S.R., Russian S.F.S.R. The first Jews to settle in Verkhneudinsk were exiles from European Russia. In 1879 its 65 Jewish families received authorization to erect a synagogue. In 1897, 908 Jews (11.2 percent of the total population) lived in the city and engaged mostly in commerce. At that time another 1,220 Jews were living in the surrounding district, of whom several hundred earned their livelihood in agriculture. The majority of the 2,244 urban Jews counted in Buryat-Mongol in 1959 probably lived in Ulan-Ude. In addition, 450 Jews lived in the rural regions of the Republic. About 92 percent of the Jews of Buryat-Mongol declared Russian to be their spoken language. In the early 21st century the community operated a Sunday school, library, and sports club.