New Collections Acquired for AASJM
Soviet Jewry movement activist Charlotte Gerber Turner of Morristown, New Jersey donated her personal archives. Included are journals of Mrs. Turner's trips to the U.S.S.R., complete with a rich selection of photos, audio recordings of political figures speakign on behalf of Soviet Jews, posters, buttons, bracelets and other items used to promote and commemorate the struggle for Soviet Jewry.
Ruth Geller Gold donated her dramatic correspondence with the Refusenik Poltinnikov family, trapped in Siberia and persecuted by the KGB during the 1970s.
Oral histories with prominent veterans of the Soviet Jewry Movement were videotaped at the AJHS:
Alan Pesky, chariman of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry later renamed the Coalition to Free Soviet Jews recollected the beginning of the grassroots campaign for the rights of Soviet Jews and his trips to the USSR to meet the Soviet Jews.
Morey Schapira, one of the key leaders of the Soviet Jewry movement spoke about his work as the President of the New England chapter of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, co-founding President of Action for Soviet Jewry, President of the Bay Area on Soviet Jews and the National President of Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.
Philip Spiegel, a veteran human rights activist and the author of an influential book on the Soviet Jewry movement Triumph Over Tyranny gave a first-hand account of his grassroots and lobbying efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews as well as two trips to the USSR in the 1980s to participate in the Moscow marathon and meet the Refuseniks.
A collection of 416 photographs from The Archives of the American Soviet Jewry Movement is now available to be viewed online.
Click hereto view the photos.
The posthumous Roll of Honor of the Archives of the American Soviet Jewry Movement is dedicated to persons of all faiths that played a leadership role in the Movement. We honor and preserve their memories so that future generations will be familiar with their achievements.
AJHS gave its 2009 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award to its chairman emeritus, Kenneth J. Bialkin, for his lifetime of leadership and contribution to the Jewish people and to Israel, and for founding the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement at AJHS.
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz who presented the award, praised Bialkin for his persistent advocacy at the highest levels of government on behalf of Soviet Jews.
A reel-to-reel tape of a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry in December 1966 was discovered by our project archivists this month, part of AJHS’ Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement, spear-headed by former AJHS Board Chairman Ken Bialkin. The 5-minute speech was heard, over the telephone, in 32 communities around the nation. The tape has been transferred to CD-ROM and AJHS hopes to make it available to scholars and the public online.
This December marks the 25th anniversary of the culminating moment of the Soviet Jewry Movement: the March on Washington on the eve of the first Gorbachev/Reagan summit.
Freedom 25, a cooperative initiative of numerous Jewish organizations, is using the anniversary to raise awareness about this epic tale. The ability of the Jewish community to unite to help free Soviet Jews holds many lessons for current and future challenges.
Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO) is a central coordinating body in the Russian Jewish community of NY that was formed in 2001 to facilitate the successful integration process of Russian Speaking Jews into the mainstream Jewish community and the greater American society.
myStory is a web site created by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to preserve the dramatic stories of emigration to America and to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Campaign for Soviet Jewry.
Association Remember and Save
The Archive of the Jewish Aliya Movement in the USSR, is a voluntary organization that collects, preserves and provides access to the personal archives and recollections of former refuniks and Zionist activists of the aliyah movement in the Former Soviet Union, 1967-89. The organization’s collections include documents, photographs, video and audio recordings as well as books and other publications on the aliyah movement and Soviet Union. The organization is based in Haifa, Israel.