BERLIN, ISRAEL (1880–?), Russian-Jewish historian, descended from a distinguished ḥasidic family. Berlin was educated at a Lithuania yeshivot and moved to St. Petersburg, where he became a member of the editorial board of the Russian Jewish Encyclopedia (Yevreyskaya Entsiklopediya, vols. 9–16) for which he edited the sections on the geonic period and rabbinic literature. He also contributed many basic articles on other topics, among them the Hebrew language, the Zohar, Ḥasidism, the Khazars, and Judaizers. He also contributed to the periodical Yevreyskaya Starina. In his fundamental study "Historical Settlements of the Jewish People on the Territory of Russia" (1919), Berlin attempted to explain the origins of Jewish settlements in Russia and trace their history up to the end of the 16th century. This work, based on copious literary and documentary material, was not completed. Berlin's fate under Soviet rule is not known. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: B.Z. Dinur, Be-Olam she-Shaka (1958), 151–3. (Yehuda Slutsky)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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