Nota Notkin (Natan Note of Shklov)
A merchant from Shklov, Nota Haimovich Notkin was invited to St. Petersburg together with Abram Perets by Catherine II. Notkin was known to sign his documents as "nadvorny sovyetnik - counselor at the (Polish) royal court".
He supplied provisions to Potemkin's army. Notkin's career, like that of Perets, ended in bankruptcy. After his patron, Prince Potemkin, died, he was unable to recover his funds from the government. However, this failure did not discourage Notkin. Twice bankrupt, he made a new start each time, but, unlike Perets, remained faithful to Judaism.
Nota Notkin was held in great respect among merchants and even in government circles. Alexander I announced a "declaration of highest appreciation" and granted him a gold snuffbox with diamonds for supplying victuals to the army and navy. A favorite of Catherine II, S.G. Zorich (the master of the settlement of Shklov) said of him: "a Jew, but a very noble person". Nota Notkin died in 1804 and was buried in the Jewish cemetery of St. Petersburg.
Notkin made many efforts to improve the life of Jews in Russia. He supported the idea of dissemination of enlightenment and productive labor among the Jews. He submitted to prince Kurakin a project "On the setting up of Jewish colonies in fertile steppes for sheep-farming, agriculture and other occupations". According to his plan, every community would have, in addition to the traditional cheders providing only Jewish education, Jewish schools of a new type, teaching not only Jewish but also general subjects, Russian and foreign languages. Nota Notkin took an active part in the life of the Jewish colony in St. Petersburg. He was the spiritual leader of the first Jewish community of St. Petersburg.
The coat of arms of Shklov