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An outstanding and internationally recognized scholar, who dedicated his life to Jewish studies and the study of Judaica. The head of the Academic Council of Center “Sefer,” since its creation in 1994.

Rashid Muradovich Kaplanov graduated from the history department of Moscow State University in 1971. He wrote his Ph.D. on the political system of Portugal after the Second World War (1945-1974) at the Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he studied at the graduate school from 1971 to 1974 and then worked for many years.

Since 1980s, Rashid Kaplanov was actively engaged in researching various aspects of Jewish history. The span of his academic interests was very broad and ranged from the Portuguese converts in eighteenth-century Russia to the Eastern European Karaites. Rashid Kaplanov was widely renowned as a historian. He participated in numerous international conferences, both domestically and abroad (including Bulgaria, England, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, USA, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic).

Rashid Kaplanov was also a brilliant lecturer who for many years taught at various universities in Moscow (e.g. at the Jewish University in Moscow, later the S. Dubnov Advanced School for the Humanities, and at the Department of Jewish Studies at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University), as well as in other parts of Russia, Europe (England, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Ukraine), and the United States. His lectures dealt with a variety of periods and subjects across Jewish history. Rashid Kaplanov’s teaching was not limited to universities. For ten years he also taught at summer and winter schools in Jewish Studies in various cities of the FSU and the Baltic states. During one of these schools, in Chernivtsi, Rashid Kaplanov had a heart attack which became fatal.

Since 1992, Rashid Kaplanov served on the board of directors of the Jewish Historical Society in Moscow. Since 1995, he was the head of the editorial board of “Vestnik: International Journal for Jewish Studies.” In 1995, he was elected to the European Academy in London. Since 1997, he was a member of the Council of the World Association for Jewish Studies, and in 2002-2006 he served as the President of the European Association for Jewish Studies.

Rashid Kaplanov died on November 27, 2007. He was 59 years old.

Obituary notice:

The Times

Jewish Journal (Russian) 

Booknik: Jewish Texts and Issues ( (Russian)

Photo gallery: Rashid Kaplanov.