OMSK, town in S.W. Siberia, Russian Federation. The first Jewish settlers in Omsk were exiles to Siberia. During 1828–56 Jewish children who had been seized for military service were sent to the *Cantonist regiment in Omsk. The community was formed by the exiles and ex-servicemen of the Russian army. In 1855 the first synagogue was founded and a second in 1873. The Jewish population numbered 1,138 Jews (3% of the population) in 1897. There were 4,389 Jews in the province of Omsk in 1926; 2,135 in the city (1.6% of the total) in 1939; and 9,175 Jews in 1959. In 1970 the Jewish population was estimated at about 10,000. In 2002 there were 2,400 Jews in the entire Omsk district, with Jewish life reviving from the 1990s, including Jewish clubs, a Chabad kindergarten, and an active synagogue in the city.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.