Archival Collections at AJHS
The American Jewish Historical Society is the largest and most comprehensive archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement incorporating 8 major national or regional collections and dozens of smaller collections measuring more than 1,000 linear feet. Paper documents, photographs, audio tapes, posters and objects are included. Thanks to a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities*, approximately 80% of AJHS holdings have been processed to date and are accessible through online Finding Aids. Additional materials are being processed through ongoing work and new Finding Aids are posted regularly. For further information email email@example.com.
Click on the topics below to view abstracts and links to finding aids. For digital photographic and audio collections, click here.
Jack Minker (1927- ), undated, 1962, 1972-1997, 2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2008-2011, P-975.
The collection documents the activism of Dr. Jack Minker, a leading authority in artificial intelligence, on behalf of foreign scientists whose human rights and scientific freedom were violated. The bulk of the collection focuses on Soviet Jewish Refuseniks, such as cyberneticist Alexander Lerner, mathematicians Victor Brailovsky and Anatoly Sharansky, and a dissident human rights activist, nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov. The documents include manuscripts, correspondence, memos, notes, publications, news clippings, and photographs.
Murray Levine (1928- ), undated, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1984-1985, 1990, P-974.
Papers of Murray Levine, a rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in Framingham, MA, worked extensively to help resettle Jewish immigrants arriving from the former Soviet Union and traveled to the Soviet Union to deliver spiritual and material support to Soviet Jewish Refuseniks. The materials include photographs and slides, trip reports, notes, memos, clippings, Refusenik profiles, a notebook with coded names of Soviet Jews, and correspondence, including a letter of support from Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Alan L. Cohen, 1989, 1993, P-973.
The collection contains photographs and video recordings taken by Kansas City, Missouri rabbi, Alan L. Cohen, during his trips to visit the Jewish Communities in the Former Soviet Union in 1989 and 1993. Included in Rabbi Cohen’s papers are photographs of a protest demonstration organized by Refuseniks in front of the Moscow Kremlin in 1989.The collection contains photographs and video recordings taken by Kansas City, Missouri rabbi, Alan L. Cohen, during his trips to visit the Jewish Communities in the Former Soviet Union in 1989 and 1993. Included in Rabbi Cohen’s papers are photographs of a protest demonstration organized by Refuseniks in front of the Moscow Kremlin in 1989.
American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection, 2008-2011, 2013, I-548.
The collection contains audio and video interviews with activists of the American Soviet Jewry Movement, former Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience.
Harry Lerner Papers, undated, 1979-1980, P-972.
The collection contains papers of Harry Lerner, a children’s books publisher, who, with his wife Sharon Lerner, was an activist of the American Soviet Jewry movement in the Minneapolis area. The materials include newsletters, articles, memos, haggadahs, profiles and lists of Soviet Jewish Prisoners of Conscience and Refuseniks.
Fred Greene Papers, undated, 1989-1990, 1992-1993, P-971.
The papers of the Soviet Jewry activist, Rabbi Fred Greene, contain materials pertaining to the Soviet Jewry movement produced by local Long Island, NY, organizations, such as the Long Island Federation of Temple Youth and the Coalition to Free Soviet Jews, as well as national organizations such as the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and Hadassah. Included are newsletters, pamphlets, fliers, buttons and a haggadah. Also included are news clippings pertaining to Soviet Jewish emigration from the U.S.S.R.
Judith A. Manelis Papers, 1986-1990, P-970.
The collection contains the papers of Judith A. Manelis, the Executive Director of the Communications Department of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. The papers pertain to the UJA-Federation Campaign for Soviet Jewish Emigres. The materials include ads, mailings, news releases, position papers, stationery, a button, and a poster.
Michael Greene Papers, undated, 1989, 2001, 2008, P-969.
The collection contains papers of the former President of the Long Island Chapter Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Michael Greene. Greene wrote music and lyrics that were performed or played back at events dedicated to Soviet Jewry in the Long Island area and were delivered to Refuseniks in the Soviet Union by members of the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry. The materials include correspondence, a book of poems and stories, sheet music, a CD, an audiocassette, and a tzedakah box.
Jack Forgash Papers, undated, 1973-1979, 2004, P-968.
The collection contains papers of Jack Forgash, an activist in the American Soviet Jewry movement. Forgash held leadership positions in the Brooklyn Coalition for Soviet Jewry and the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry during the 1970s, and co-chaired the Jackson for President Committee during the presidential campaign of Senator Henry M. Jackson in 1976. The materials include correspondence, memoranda, photographs, brochures and news clippings.
Rachel Braun Papers, 1979, P-967.
The collection contains papers of the American Soviet Jewry movement activist Rachel Brau. The materials focus on the tour of the Soviet Union she took in 1979, under the guise of a tourist, with the intention to secretly meet Soviet Jews, deliver messages and material aid for the Refuseniks and Soviet Jewish Prisoners of Conscience, and to collect information on their circumstances. The materials include diaries, photos and clippings.
Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans Records, undated, 1949-1952, 1961, 1974-1985, I-547.
The Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans (JFSGNO) was a social service agency created in 1948 to establish and preserve the self-sufficiency of Jewish families. The collection focuses on the JFSGNO’s work to resettle Jews from the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s, often in cooperation with similar agencies, such as Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), United Service for New American, and United Jewish Fund. Also included are lists of the Displaced Persons who arrived from Eastern and Western Europe by ships to the port of New Orleans in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and materials on resettling of refugees from Southeast Asia in the 1970s-1980s. The documents include ship manifests, memos, agendas, correspondence, clippings, policy statements and procedures, statistics, congressional reports, programs and budgets.
Linda Rutta Papers, undated, 1975-1976, P-965.
The collection contains papers of the American Soviet Jewry movement activist Linda Rutta. The materials focus on her activism as an undergraduate student at City College of New York, and her relations with the family of the Soviet Jewish Refusenik, Victor Ozar. The collection includes materials from the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ), such as a Soviet Jewry fact sheet, college campus action outline, and correspondence with SSSJ regarding Soviet Jewish Prisoners of Conscience. Also included is Rutta's correspondence with the Ozar family.
Carol S. Kekst Papers, undated, 1975, 1977-1982, P-961.
The collection contains papers of the American Soviet Jewry movement activist, Carol Schapiro Kekst. The materials focus on the activities of the Committee of Concerned Scientists, Inc. (of which Kekst was a vice-chair) in order to protect the Soviet Jewish Refusenik scientists from state persecution and discrimination, and to defend their right to emigrate.
Estelle Newman Papers, 1983, 2004, 2006, P-960.
The collection contains papers of the American Soviet Jewry movement activist Estelle Newman. The materials focus on the trip to the USSR taken by Newman, her husband, and their teenage daughter in 1983, during which they met with and delivered material aid to many Soviet Jewish Refusenik families in Moscow, Leningrad, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Siberia. The collection features hundreds of photographs taken during the trip including pictures of Refuseniks in their homes, scenes of Jewish life in the communities visited, and street scenes in the Soviet Republics. A detailed trip report and news clippings related to the Refuseniks visited by the Newmans are also included.
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Soviet Jewry Collection, undated, 1965, 1967, 1970-1971, 1977-1978, 1981, I-543.
The collection reflects the involvement in the American Soviet Jewry movement of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), the primary organization of synagogues practicing Conservative Judaism in North America. The materials include pamphlets, newsletters, reports, play scripts, poetry, correspondence and photographs.
Victor Borden Papers, 1987, 1990, P-959.
The papers of Dr. Victor Borden, a Gynecologist/Obstetrician from New Jersey, reflect his activism in the American Soviet Jewry movement. The collection focuses on a physician humanitarian mission to the Soviet Union led by Dr. Borden in 1987. The mission consisted of seven Jewish doctors from New Jersey and Tennessee, traveling under the guise of tourists. The doctors provided medical consultations and evaluations to over 150 members of the Soviet Jewish Refusenik community. The materials include a trip report by Dr. Borden, a trip report by Alan G. Graber (another member of the mission), and news clippings related to the mission.
Frank Brodsky Papers, 1985-1987, P-957.
The papers of Frank Brodsky reflect his work as co-chairman of the Soviet Jewry Council of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia. The collection includes two reports by Mr. Brodsky on trips to the U.S.S.R. that he and several other members of the Philadelphia Jewish community took in 1985 and 1987, in order to deliver material aid and moral support to the Soviet Jewish Refuseniks. Also included are two calendar books with forewords by Mr. Brodsky, featuring photographs, profiles, contact information of, and updates on, Soviet Jewish Refuseniks. The books also contain photos and articles on the Soviet Jewry movement rallies, lectures and other related events in Greater Philadelphia.
Alan M. Kohn Papers, 1995, 2008, P-956.
The collection contains papers of Alan M. Kohn, a former emergency preparedness operations officer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a former president of Temple Beth Sholom, the Conservative Synagogue of Brevard County, Florida. It documents Mr. Kohn's participation in the Rally for Soviet Jewry outside of the John F. Kennedy Space Center of NASA on July 15, 1975. The occasion for the rally was the launch of the Apollo spacecraft manned with three astronauts for a rendezvous with the Soviet Soyuz manned spacecraft on the Apollo-Soyuz Space Mission. The purpose of the rally was to raise public awareness of the plight of the Jews in the Soviet Union and to demand their freedom. The collection includes part of an unpublished, novelized memoir written by Alan M. Kohn in 1995, that focused on the rally. The collection also contains a letter of introduction to the memoir.
Efry Spectre Papers, undated, 1964, 1970-1973, 1975, 1977-1979, 1981-1983, 1987-1989, P-954.
The papers of Rabbi Efry Spectre reflect his involvement in the American Soviet Jewry movement. Rabbi Spectre chaired the Detroit Jewish Community Relations Council's Committee on International Concerns and the Detroit Soviet Jewry Committee, that advocated Jewish emigration from the USSR and free expression of Jewish religious and cultural rights within the Soviet Union. The materials include news clippings, correspondence, photographs, pamphlets, memos and notes.
Ruth Geller Gold Papers, 1974-1975, 1979, P-953.
The papers of Ruth Geller Gold consist predominantly of correspondence with a family of Soviet Jewish Refuseniks located in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, the Poltinnikovs. The case of the Poltinnikovs was referred to by the American Soviet Jewry movement organizations as one of the most tragic stories in the annals of the emigration movement. Two members of the family were driven to suicide after eight years of systematic persecution by the KGB as a punishment for stating their intent to leave for Israel.
Lawrence I. Lerner Papers, 1987-1988, 1991, P-952.
The collection contains the papers of Soviet Jewry movement activist and New Jersey-based attorney, Lawrence I. Lerner, who repeatedly traveled to the Soviet Union in the 1980s to visit Refuseniks. Mr. Lerner participated in filing legal pleas for Prisoners of Conscience based on international treaties and the Soviet Constitution, and after the collapse of the U.S.S.R., he became President of the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union. The collection consists of four trip reports taken by Mr. Lerner in 1988-1989 and 1991 and case histories of Refuseniks whom he visited, or considered visiting during those trips. Some of the case histories include photos and notes by Mr. Lerner.
John Steinbruck Papers, undated, 1976-1978, 1980, 1984-1985, 1990, 2008, P-951
The papers of Reverend John Frederick Steinbruck, an ordained Lutheran minister and humanitarian activist, reflect his involvement in the American Soviet Jewry movement. The materials include news clippings, correspondence, photographs, pamphlets and a brief manuscript of memoirs.
Billie Kozolchyk Papers, 1977-1991, 2012, P-950
The collection contains papers of the American Soviet Jewry movement activist Billie Kozolchyk. The documents include a collection of clippings from The Arizona Post that cover the Soviet Jewry movement in the Tucson area during the period of 1977 to 1991. Many of the articles mention Billie Kozolchyk and some are authored by her. The collection also contains excerpts from the diaries of Roz Kaufman, the chairperson of the Tucson-based Women's Plea for Soviet Jewry. Also included are three t-shirts commemorating the annual Freedom Run for Soviet Jewry that occurred from the late 1970s until the early 1990s in Tucson, AZ.
Records of the Jewish Defense League, undated, 1969-1974, 1985-1986, *I-374
The collection contains the records of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a militant Zionist organization with a stated goal to protect Jews from all forms of antisemitism. The materials document the origins of the JDL, the organization's mission statement and recruitment strategies and account for its most definitive actions. The collection also reflects the League's turbulent relationship with, and its criticism of the mainstream Jewish agencies, as well as examples of criticism of the League's controversial methods from various sources. The collection prominently covers the JDL's role as a pioneer of the American Soviet Jewry movement. Materials on the 1971 World Conference of Jewish Communities are also included. The documents include the Articles of the Organization, correspondence and press releases, membership and recruitment materials, newsletters, newspaper clippings and ephemera.
Bert Silver Papers, undated, 1971-1973, 1978, 1980-1982, P-949
The collection documents the activities on behalf of Soviet Jewry of Bert Silver who served as president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, worked on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and chaired the commission on international affairs of the American Jewish Congress in Washington, D.C.
Abraham Silverstein Papers, undated, 1975-1976, 1985, 1987-1989, 1994, P-947
The collection contains papers Abraham Silverstein, an American Soviet Jewry movement activist who co-founded and co-chaired the Academy of the Air for Jewish Studies, an agency that prepared educational shortwave radio programs for Jews in the Soviet Union. The materials include correspondence, memos, project descriptions and reports, news clippings, transcripts of lectures, research materials and 18 audiocassettes with recordings of the programs.
Marilyn Labendz Papers, undated, 1986-1989, P-946
The papers of American Soviet Jewry movement activist, Marilyn Labendz, who participated in the MetroWest Conference on Soviet Jewry and chaired the MetroWest mobilization to Summit II. The collection contains speeches, memos, correspondence, pamphlets, news clippings.
Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism Soviet Jewry Collection, undated, 1959, 1962-1973, 1976-1990, 1993-1994, 1996, I-538
The collection documents the advocacy on behalf of the Soviet Jewry of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, a non-profit organization concerned with Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C.
Ann Polunsky Papers, undated, 1980, P-886
The papers of the president of Arizona Action for Soviet Jewry Ann Polunsky contain audio recordings documenting activism on behalf of Soviet Jews in the Greater Phoenix, AZ.
Lillian Foreman Papers, undated, 1965, 1967-1976, 1979, 1981-1984, 1987-1990, P-945
The papers of Lillian Foreman reflect her work on behalf of Soviet Jews as a member of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews. The collection includes correspondence with Jews in the Soviet Union, materials used to create a database of the Refuseniks, materials pertaining to Bar and Bat Mitzvah Twinning and Adopt-A-Family projects, news clippings collected in order to monitor the situation of Jews in the USSR and newsletters from Soviet Jewry movement organizations.
Mort Yadin Papers, undated, 1971-1978, P-943
The papers of Mort Yadin reflect his work on behalf of Soviet Jews as a member of the Washington Committee for Soviet Jewry and the B'Nai Israel Soviet Jewry Committee. Included are transcripts of Yadin's phone conversations with Jews in the USSR, his correspondence with and on behalf of Soviet Jewish Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience. The collection also contains news clippings covering Yadin's activism, materials on events and projects, postal receipts, notes, memos, articles, brochures and photographs.
Grace Perlbinder Papers, undated, 1971-1982, P-942
Papers of the Soviet Jewry movement activist Grace Perlbinder of Great Neck, NY reflect her activities as one of the leaders of the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry during the 1970s and early 1980s. The materials include speeches, notes, reports, a play script, information on trips to the USSR, correspondence, bulletins, memos, proposals, news clippings, newsletters and photographs.
Betty Golomb Papers, undated, 1964, 1968, 1971, 1975-1979, 1982-1984, 1986-1989, P-938
The Papers of the American Soviet Jewry movement activist Betty Golomb who served as a board member of the Women's Auxiliary of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, as the chair of the task force on Soviet Jewry for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and in the executive committee of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and led Women's Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jews, sponsored by the Leadership Conference of National Jewish Women's Organizations. The papers of Betty Golomb contain documents of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Leadership Conference of National Jewish Women's Organizations' Committee on Soviet Jewry, Women's Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jewry, National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Congressional Wives for Soviet Jewry, National Conference on Soviet Jewry and National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council. The materials include correspondence, memos, agenda, organizational guidelines, manuals and proposals, publications, photographs.
Springfield Jewish Federation Soviet Jewry Collection, undated, 1978, 1981-1984, 1987, 1989-1992, 1994, 1997, I-532
The Springfield Jewish Federation is a charitable organization supporting educational and social service programs for both the local and world-wide Jewish community. The Federation was founded on May 6, 1941, to aid in the resettlement of Jews fleeing the war in Europe. Assisting Jews in need has remained an important part of Federation activities. The organization took an active part in the American Soviet Jewry movement by coordinating fund raising, community-wide programming, social services and educational activities to help Jews emigrate from the U.S.S.R. and to resettle them in Springfield, IL. The Federation arranged housing, health care, coordinated schools and jobs placement and provided a general orientation to American life for the newly arrived Soviet Jewish immigrants.
Records of Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry, undated, 1961, 1964, 1967, 1969-1970, 1972-2010 (Bulk 1975-2010), I-530
The records of Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry (CASJ, after 1991 known as Chicago Action for Jews in the Former Soviet Union, CAJFSU), a grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to helping Soviet Jews emigrate from the Soviet Union and protecting the Refuseniks. CASJ was founded in the early 1970s as a result of the formation of the national organization, the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, which included approximately 50 other local councils. The collection documents the CASJs activities from its inception until it closed in 2010. The collection also features materials related to the activities of CASJ's umbrella organization, Union of Councils for Soviet Jews and its legal arm Soviet Jewry Legal Advocacy Center. The materials include correspondence, memoranda, case files, trip reports, publications, photographs, posters, audio, video, and three-dimensional artifacts.
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B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Soviet Jewry Movement Collection, 1987-1988, I-529
The collection reflects the role of B'nai B'rith and other organizations in the movement to liberate Soviet Jews. The materials in the B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Soviet Jewry collection include articles, a flier and posters.
Constance S. Kreshtool Papers, 1978-1988, P-935
The papers of the Soviet Jewry movement activist Constance S. Kreshtool of Wilmington, DE, who was active in the Delaware Committee on Soviet Jewry contain her correspondence with the Refuseniks in the Soviet Union and postal return receipts, a newspaper article describing her trip to the USSR in 1978, and a letter to the Jewish Family Services on behalf of a Soviet Jewish family.
Irwin H. Krasna Papers, 1971, 2003, P-934
The collection documents the trip to the Soviet Union that Dr. Irwin H. Krasna, a pediatric surgeon, and his twin brother, Dr. Alvin I. Krasna, a Professor of Biochemistry at Columbia University, took in September-October 1971, traveling under the auspices of Arye Kroll, a prominent Israeli Zionist and representative of Lishkat Hakesher (commonly known as Nativ), the Israeli liaison Bureau that carried out clandestine activities to establish contact with Jews in Eastern Europe during the Cold War to encourage them to immigrate to Israel. Materials include a manuscript, an audiocassette and photographs.
Sylvia Weinberg Papers, undated, 1973, 1976-1977, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1999, P-928
The papers of Sylvia Weinberg reflect her work on behalf of Jews in the U.S.S.R. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Mrs. Weinberg was active in The 35's--The Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry, an international organization with members throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. The materials include notes, clippings, publications, buttons, badges, banners and photographs.
Dolores Wilkenfeld Papers, 1971, P-927
Papers of the Soviet Jewry movement activist Dolores Wilkenfeld of Houston, TX. The materials reflect the Women's Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jewry--an interreligious event to promote Soviet Jewry movement, organized by Mrs. Wilkenfeld on December 6, 1971 in Houston, TX. The materials include correspondence, memos, petitions, proclamations, programs (documents), transcripts, pamphlets and clippings.
Arthur Bernstein Papers, 1977, 2011, P-925
The papers of the Soviet Jewry movement activist Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook Dr. Arthur Bernstein contain a copy of his petition on behalf of fellow computer scientist and Soviet Jewish Prisoner of Conscience Anatoly Sharansky signed by over 230 prominent American computer scientists and mailed to the Soviet and American officials and to the United Nations in 1977. The collection also contains an autobiographical note with a brief history of the Sharansky petition.
Leslie Schaffer Papers, undated, 1979-1980, 1982, 1984-1987, 1989, P-923
Papers of the Soviet Jewry movement activist Leslie Schaffer of Reno, Nevada document her trip to the Soviet Union to visit Soviet Jewish Refuseniks in Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev in March of 1982. The collection includes trip reports notes and photographs, correspondence, biographies of the Refuseniks, travel documents and receipts and background materials on the U.S.S.R.
The Jewish Chronicle Soviet Jewry Collection, undated, 1963-1983, 1990, I-523
The Jewish Chronicle is a weekly newspaper covering local, national and global news for the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and its vicinity. The collection contains information and photographs used by The Jewish Chronicle for coverage of the situation of Jews in the Soviet Union during the decades of 1960s and 1970s. The bulk of the materials originated from the Soviet Jewry movement and other Jewish organizations in the United States and includes publications, press releases, correspondence and photographs related to Soviet Jews.
Rabbi David Goldstein and Shannie Goldstein Papers, undated, 1982-1984, 1987-1989, 2005, 2007, P-918
Papers of Rabbi David Goldstein and Shannie Goldstein contain materials reflecting their work on behalf of Jews in the Soviet Union. The materials include notes, correspondence, fliers, news clippings and photographs. The bulk of the collection consists of oversized cardboard-mounted photographs taken by Rabbi Goldstein on the trip to the Soviet Union in 1983.
Babette Wampold Papers. undated, 1969-2003, P-912
This collection contains the papers of Babette Wampold and the Alabama Council to Save Soviet Jews and documents their activities on behalf of the American Soviet Jewry Movement. The collection is comprised of correspondence, case files, clippings, newsletters, photographs, and trip reports.
Kathleen M. Hyman Papers. undated, 1956, 1975-1981, 1984, 1987, P-911
Kathleen M. Hyman of La Grange Park, IL is a former Soviet Jewry movement activist, who was involved with Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry, grass-roots non-profit organization that has advocated for Jews in the U.S.S.R. In 1976 Mrs. Hyman traveled to U.S.S.R., where she established contacts with prominent Soviet Jewish Refuseniks. She has been involved with the West Suburban Synagogue in Oak Park and their adopted village Penza in the former Soviet Union and has been a liaison between her synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom, Naperville, IL and the remnants of the Jewish community in Jekabpils, Latvia. View Finding Aid
Myrtle Sitowitz Papers. undated, 1972, 1975-1989, P-908
The papers of Myrtle Sitowitz reflect her work on behalf of Jews in the U.S.S.R. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Mrs. Sitowitz was active in The 35's--The Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry, an international organization with members throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. Myrtle Sitowitz's collection contains correspondence, newspaper articles, a children's guide to Soviet Jewry, profiles and case histories of the Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience, community planning information. The materials include notes, memos, correspondence, publications, news clippings and a bumper sticker.
Charlotte Gerber Turner. Papers, undated, 1976-1977, 1980, 1985, 1987, P-907
The papers of Charlotte Gerber Turner represent the activities of the American Soviet Jewry Movement activist. The collection contains reports on visiting Soviet Jews during Mrs. Turner's visits to U.S.S.R., accompanied by a large number of photos and slides taken during those trips. The materials also include audio recordings from the events related to the Soviet Jewry Movement, including the Second World Conference of Jewish Communities on Soviet Jewry in 1976; a t-shirt, hat and scarf commemorating the Soviet Jewry Summit in Washington, D. C., metal bracelets stamped with names of Refuseniks, a collection of commemorative buttons and 4 posters. The papers of Charlotte Gerber Turner also contain notes, photographs, slides and audio recordings related to her work on behalf of Ethiopian Jewry.
Morey Schapira (1949- ). Papers, 1963, 1965-1993, 2010, P-906
The papers of Morey Schapira reflect the work of the prominent activist of the American Soviet Jewry movement in the years 1965-1993. The collection includes details on Mr. Schapira's leadership role with organizations Action for Soviet Jewry, the Bay Area Council on Soviet Jewry, the New England Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews. The collection contains files on many other groups, individuals and topics.
Seattle Action for Soviet Jewry Records, undated, 1972-1991, 1997, I-507
The Seattle Action for Soviet Jewry records documenting the activities of a human rights non-governmental organization on behalf of Soviet Jewry. The records date from 1972-1997 with the bulk in the late 1970s through 1980s. The collection includes administrative files, documents pertaining to various local and national institutions, programs and activities related to the Soviet Jewry movement, reports of trips to visit Jews in the U.S.S.R., information on U.S.-U.S.S.R. trade relations, Soviet laws and Soviet Antisemitism, information on Seattle's sister city Tashkent. Besides the series with the general materials the collection features a series with files concerning Soviet Jewish Prisoners of Conscience, and Refuseniks and an audio-visual series with photographs of Soviet Jews and local and national coverage of the events related to Soviet Jewry.
William Korey. Papers, undated, 1946-1951, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1959-2010, P-903
William Korey Papers document life and works of a prominent human rights expert who played a leadership role in the American Soviet Jewry movement. Dr. Korey served as a regional director of Anti-Defamation League and later as a founding director of B'nai Brith International's U.N. office which worked on the problem of discrimination faced by the Jews in the Soviet Union. Dr. Korey was deeply involved in the processes pivotal to the success of the Sovet Jewry movement, such as the defense of the Helsinki Accords and the adoption of the Jackson-Vanik amendment. Parallel to his work on behalf of Soviet Jewry Dr. Korey participated in the efforts to realize the U.S. ratification of the genocide treaty that eventually came to fruition in 1988. William Korey authored hundreds of articles and essays and a number of books on the subjects related to the Jews in the Soviet Union. He taught at the Long Island University, City College of New York, Columbia University, Brooklyn College and several other major universities. The William Korey papers include materials from the late 1940s through 2010, and the bulk of the collection is dated 1970s-1990s. The documents include manuscripts, correspondence, notes, publications, news clippings, photographs and a data CD.
Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews. Records, undated, 1952, 1954-1993, I-505
The collection documents the activities of a human rights non-government organization on behalf of Soviet Jewry. Organized by Harold Light in San Francisco in 1967, the group worked to bring the Soviet Jewry issue to national and international attention. The collection contains correspondence, minutes, case files, publications, newspaper clippings, card files of Refuseniks, subject files, audio/visual materials, and information on other Soviet Jewry and interreligious organizations. Also included are materials relating to Soviet Jewish emigration, Cold War relations, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and human rights conditions in Russia and the former Soviet republics.
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Moshe Decter. Papers, 1958-1980, 1982, 1989-1990, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2002-2003, P-899
The collection contains papers of one of the pioneers of the American Soviet Jewry Movement. Starting in the early 1960s Moshe Decter instigated broad publicity campaigns to raise global awareness about the persecution of Soviet Jews and authored hundreds of articles on the subject in a variety of publications. Mr. Decter established and directed the Jewish Minorities Research bureau, served as the executive secretary of the Conference on the Status of Soviet Jews and as a director of research at the American Jewish Congress. Moshe Decter Papers consist of materials dating from the late 1950s to the early 2000s, with the bulk of the collection dating in 1960s-1970s. The documents include articles, correspondence, transcripts, notes, memoranda, publications, news clippings, broadsides and photographs.
Pamela B. Cohen. Papers, 1968-2005, 2007, 2009, P-897
Pamela B. Cohen Papers document activities of the prominent activist of the American Soviet Jewry Movement. Pamela B. Cohen began her activity through the independent grass roots council, Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry (CASJ) and in 1978, served with Marillyn Tallman as co-chair until 1986, when she became the national president of the Washington-based Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ). She served in that capacity for 10 years. The Pamela B. Cohen papers include materials from the late 1960s through 2009, and the bulk of the collection is dated 1970s-1980s. The documents include correspondence, notes, memoranda, publications, news clippings, photographs, ephemera, audio and video recordings and 3-D objects.
David Waksberg. Papers, 1970-1997, P-895
The David Waksberg Papers are comprised of materials generated while Waksberg served in a variety of leadership roles in the American Soviet Jewry Movement in the 1980s and early 1990s: Executive Director of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews (BACSJ); National Vice-President of Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ); member of the UCSJ Board of Directors; Director of the Center for Jewish Renewal; Director of Development and Communication of UCSJ; a founder of the Russian-American Bureau on Human Rights in Moscow. The materials primarily consist of correspondence, reports, grant proposals, notes, clippings, newsletters and photographs.
Houston Action for Soviet Jewry. Records, 1966-1997, I-500
This collection contains the institutional records of the Houston Action for Soviet Jewry, mainly news clippings, correspondence, files about refuseniks, and various materials and programs for events which Houston Action for Soviet Jewry sponsored or was involved with. There are also some materials from other organizations set up to aid Soviet Jewry, including the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews, the Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews. Many of these materials concern the situation of Jews in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as in the 1990s, soon after the end of the Soviet Union.
Pinchas Mordechai Teitz. Papers, 1967-1968, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977-1982, P-891
Papers of the prominent Soviet Jewry Movement activist, religious leader, educator and broadcaster Rabbi Pinchas Mordechai Teitz (1908-1995) of Elizabeth, NJ cover the period from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The collection contains correspondence, related to Soviet Jews, documentation of Rabbi Teitz' trips to the USSR, his articles on Soviet Jews, the Russian-Hebrew religious books published for Russian-speaking Jews by the enterprise MOHIR (established by Teitz) records of shipments of books and religious items to the Soviet Union, a sound recording reflecting the visit of the Chief Rabbi of Moscow to the USA in 1968, and photographs related to Rabbi Teitz' Soviet Jewry activities in the USA and the USSR. The documents include articles, correspondence, notes, prayer books, publications, news clippings, a trip report, photographs and a vinyl record.
Margery Sanford. Papers, 1973-1980, 1984-1986, 1988, P-889
Papers of Margery Sanford cover the period from the early 1970s to the late 1980s and document her activities as the Documentation Committee chairperson of South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry, as well as her individual efforts in the American Soviet Jewry Movement. The documents include correspondence, notes, memos, minutes, publications, news clippings, photographs, stickers and a flag.
David H. Hill. Papers, 1958, 1963-1974, 1976, 1979-1998, 2000, P-888
The collection contains papers of a pioneer activist of the American Soviet Jewry Movement Rabbi David Hill. A New York City Rabbi and businessman Rabbi Hill served as the national president of National Council of Young Israel, member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and an officer of National Conference on Soviet Jewry. Starting 1971 he ran Operation Lifeline, an independently funded outreach program created by NCSJ Commission on Education and Culture to support Jewish life in the USSR and Former Soviet Union. David H. Hill Papers include materials from late 1950s to 2000 and the bulk of the collection represents the time period from 1963 to 1990. The documents include correspondence, memoranda, publications, news clippings, photographs with negatives, ephemera and a poster.
Doris H. Goldstein. Papers, 1979, 1981, 1987-1988, 2009, P-887
The papers of Doris H. Goldstein represent the activities of the American Soviet Jewry Movement activist from Atlanta, GA. The collection contains notes, photos and memorabilia from two trips to the USSR to meet with the Soviet Jews, a DVD recording of the program presented at an Atlanta rally on behalf of Soviet Jewry in 1987, local press coverage of Doris H. Goldstein's activism, her correspondence and memos of the Atlanta Jewish Federation regarding Jews in the Soviet Union. Materials include memorandums, correspondence, clippings, photographs, a DVD and a scrapbook.
Leonard S. Cahan. Papers, 1985-1986, P-883
The papers of Rabbi Leonard S. Cahan focus on the imprisonment of the American Soviet Jewry Movement activist for demonstrating on behalf of Soviet Jews in front of the Soviet embassy in Washington D.C. on May 1st, 1985. Materials include memorandums, correspondence, clippings and brochures.
Shaul Osadchey. Papers, undated, 1968-1978, 1980-1981, 1983-1992, P-882
Papers of Rabbi Shaul Osadchey cover the period from the late 1960's to the early 1990's and reflect the activities of Houston Action for Soviet Jewry, co-founded by Rabbi Osadchey. The collection also contains print and near print materials from various American and European Soviet Jewry Movement organizations, and background information on the situation of Jews in the Soviet Union during that period. The documents include correspondence, memos, minutes, publications, news clippings, pins, stickers and a kippah.
Sanford A. Gradinger. Papers, undated, 1985, 1993-1995, 2007, 2009, P-880
The collection contains papers of the Rochester, NY businessman and human rights activist Sanford A. Gradinger, who in 1978 co-founded the Andrei Sakharov International Committee to focus international attention on the prominent human rights activist Andrei Sakharov (repressed by the Soviet government), reunite separated Soviet Jewish families and demand the release of Soviet Jewish Refuseniks like Rimma Bravve and Ida Nudel. The documents reflect Mr. Gradinger's contacts and visits with the government officials in Washington D. C., his trips to the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia to visit Refuseniks, participation in demonstrations and vigils, organization of benefit concerts in US and Europe and other activities on behalf of the Soviet Jewry. Materials include photographs, correspondence, clippings, ephemera and travel memorabilia.
Elaine Pittell. Papers, undated, 1974-1991, 1993-1994, P-873
The collection documents Elaine Pittell and her husband's Robert Pittell's activities as the leaders of the Jewish Federation of South Broward's Soviet Jewry Committee. It covers the period from mid-1970's to early 1990's. The collection contains correspondence, memos, minutes, publications, news clippings, audiocassettes, videocassette, disc negatives and nine Soviet Jewry Movement pins.
Joel Sandberg and Adele Sandberg. Papers, undated, 1974-1988, 1992, 1994-1995, 2009, P-872
The collection contains papers of Joel Sandberg and Adele Sandberg, the co-founders of the South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry. It covers the period from the mid-1970's to the early 1990's and document the Sandbergs' activities as the leaders of the Soviet Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry, as well as their individual efforts in the American Soviet Jewry Movement. The documents include correspondence, memos, minutes, and news clippings.
Si Frumkin. Papers, undated, 1985, 1988-1989, P-871
The Si Frumkin Papers include Mr. Frumkin's articles on the subject of the Holocaust, Israel, the Soviet Union and Soviet Jews from the mid- and the late 1980's, and a video interview with him and video recordings of several television programs related to the topic of the Soviet Jewry. The documents include articles, news clippings and video recordings.
American Soviet Jewry Movement Photographs, undated, 1914, 1968-1970, 1972-1986, 1988-1989, 1991, I-495
American Soviet Jewry Movement Photographs digital collection consists of 416 digitized photographs and slides selected from 5 major collections of the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement. It documents the everyday struggle for Soviet Jewry in the USA depicting over two decades of demonstrations, vigils and meetings, mourning and celebrations, the Movement activists of all ages and walks of life, politicians and celebrities. A number of photographs in the collection offer a glimpse into the Cold War era Jewish life on the other side of the Iron Curtain: prominent Soviet Jewish activists, clandestine gatherings and forbidden observations of the religious holidays and ceremonies, daring public protests by the Refuseniks in the center of Moscow and Prisoners of Conscience in the Siberian labor camps.
Records of Washington Committee for Soviet Jewry, undated, 1962, 1965-2001, I-540 (Formerly Carolyn W. Sanger. Papers, P-870)
The collection contains records of the Washington Committee for Soviet Jewry, a grassroots volunteer membership organization that was founded in 1968 and existed until 2001. The organization was renamed the Greater Washington Committee for Post-Soviet Jewry after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Committee worked to raise awareness of the plight of Soviet Jewry in the United States and supported Jewish communities on the U.S.S.R. territories, during the rule of the Soviet regime and after its collapse. The records cover the period from the mid-1960s through 2001, and the bulk of the collection is dated 1970s-1980s. The documents include correspondence, memoranda, publications, news clippings, photographs, slides, ephemera, audio and video recordings and 3-D objects. Originally the collection was titled Papers of Carolyn W. Sanger, *P-870 by the name of the Committee's last president.
Leah Lieberman. Papers, 1970-1971, 2009, P-869
The papers and the oral history of Leah Lieberman reflect the creation and the early activities of the Brooklyn Coalition for Soviet Jewry. Materials include minutes, memorandums, correspondence, photos and a DVD.
Laurel Gould and Alan J. Gould. Papers, undated, 1963, 1969-1982, P-866
The collection contains the papers of Laurel Gould and her husband, lawyer Alan J. Gould. The materials include correspondence, memoranda, individual files on Soviet Jewish Refuseniks, documentation of special projects, events and visits to USSR, publications, legal materials pertinent to the Soviet Jewry, photographs, slides and audio recordings of conversations and interviews with the Soviet Jews.
Jerry Goodman. Papers, undated, 1954, 1959-2008, P-863
The collection contains papers of Jerry Goodman, the founding director of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, the largest and most influential organization created by the American Jews to coordinate efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews, which survives today as NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia. The bulk of the collection covers the activities from the early 1970s through late 1980s. The collection includes some minutes of meetings, memoranda, correspondence, newsletters and publications of the NCSJ and its precursor, the American Jewish Committee on Soviet Jewry (AJCSJ, 1964-1971). Among other materials are some posters and considerable number of photographs on Refuseniks and of the ASJM events in New York and the US, audio recordings on compact cassettes and reel-to-reels re-mastered into CD format, and VHS tapes. The collection also contains non-paper objects like pins, pendants, bracelets devoted to prisoners of conscience in the USSR, as well as a t-shirt, a scarf and a shopping bag.
National Conference on Soviet Jewry. Records, 1964-1992, I-181, I-181A.
The collection contains the records of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, the largest and most influential organization created by the American Jews to coordinate efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews, which survives today as NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia. The bulk of the collection covers the activities from the early 1970s through the late 1980s. The collection includes minutes of meetings, memoranda, correspondence, newsletters and publications of the NCSJ and its precursor, the American Jewish Committee on Soviet Jewry (1964-1971). Among other materials are individual files Refuseniks, prisoners of conscience and Jewish émigrés. Also included are a considerable number of reports from visits to the USSR by Soviet Jewry Movement activists and others. A significant part of the collection is represented by the audio recordings that include 13- to 14-minute long programs on the WEVD Radio dedicated to Soviet Jewry topics and recordings of phone conversations with Refuseniks. The collection includes a considerable number of photographs, posters and publications, several film strips and VHS tapes.
View Finding Aid (Large file, allow time to load).
Action for Soviet Jewry. Records, undated, 1943, 1964-1994, I-487
The collection contains the records of the ASJ, an organization active in the Boston area, which survives today as Action for Post-Soviet Jewry, as well as those of two other organizations closely related to ASJ: the New England Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and the Soviet Jewry Legal Advocacy Center. The bulk of the collection is from the decade starting in the late 1970s through the late 1980s. The collection includes large databases on Refuseniks, prisoners of conscience and Jewish émigrés. Along with the database spreadsheet forms there are a large number of individual files. Among these files are materials related to Soviet Jewish refugees in Italy from the time of the Ladispoli crisis of the late 1980s. The collection also includes a substantial number of reports from visits to the USSR by ASJ activists and other travelers cooperating with the Soviet Jewry Movement as well as a considerable number of photographs, posters and publication.
View Finding Aid (Large file, allow time to load).
Union of Councils for Soviet Jews. Records, undated, 1948, 1954, 1963-1965, 1967-2000, I-410, I-410A
The collection contains the records of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, an umbrella organization for approximately 50 grassroots organizations. The records documenting the UCSJ's operations, programs, and campaigns relate primarily to the period of the 1980's, when the rescue movement reached its pinnacle of success and international attention, and to the 1990's, reflecting UCSJ's activities following the Soviet Union's collapse and its continuing work on behalf of human rights. The records are notable for including materials of UCSJ individual councils, materials by the Soviet Jewry Legal Advocacy Center, an affiliate of UCSJ, numerous case files regarding prisoners of conscience, Refuseniks, and those allowed to emigrate to the West.
View Finding Aid (Large file, allow time to load).
Joel Ackerman Papers, P-787
Contains newsletters and related documents composed by San Francisco area organizations pertaining to Soviet Jewry. The newsletters are composed by American Jewish activists on behalf of Soviet Jewish refuseniks and refugees. The documents provide insight into the daily lives of Soviet Jewry and the American Jewish fight for Soviet freedom during the 1970s and 1980s. The newsletters document different organizations and attempts to aid Soviet Jewry, their status and their plight. Organizational newsletters included are from such organizations as: The Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, Bay Area Council on Soviet Jewry and Northern California Lawyers' Committee for Soviet Jews. Highlights of the collection include UN Human Rights documents, the Pesach Project (1978-1979) and Twinning programs for Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Julia Mates Cheney. Papers, 2001-2002, P-806
This collection consists of a published copy of Cheney's Master's thesis, Narratives of Courage: Oral Histories of Jewish Émigrés from the Former Soviet Union, that she submitted to the Public History program of California State University, Sacramento in 2002. As part of her research, Cheney conducted oral history interviews with five Russian Jewish immigrants and one non-Jewish spouse of a Jewish immigrant. The collection includes audiotapes of these interviews, biographical worksheets, release forms, and transcripts. These materials offer a kind of coda to the long epic of the Soviet Jewish struggle to emigrate, as the speakers look back and relate, in English, their struggles in the USSR and subsequent life in the U.S.
Collections to be Processed
In January 2007, approximately 650 linear feet of documents, photographs, posters and film representing the work of individuals and organizations active on behalf of Soviet Jewry, were transferred from the University of Colorado at Boulder to AJHS in New York. The collection, which include the following are currently being organized and will be made accessible to researchers as the archival process is completed.
- Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (Additions)
- Bay Area Council for Jewish Rescue and Renewal
- National Conference on Soviet Jewry (Additions)
- Turkin, Deborah
Related Collections at AJHS
American Jewish Congress, n.d., 1916-2006, I-77
Includes correspondence, minutes, reports, publications related to Soviet Jewry.
Jewish Student Organizations, n.d., 1906-1995, I-61
Includes periodicals relating to many Jewish student organizations from the 60s-80s
For example, Soviet Jewry Action Newsletter, 1969-79, Soviet Jewry Update, 1977,
SOS Soviet Jewry, 1966-1974.
Jewish Student Press Service Records, n.d. 1970-1987, I-249
Includes correspondence, minutes, reports, publications.
Jewish Student Organizations, n.d., 1906-1995, I-61
Includes periodicals relating to many Jewish student organizations from the 60s-80s
For example, Soviet Jewry Action Newsletter, 1969-79, Soviet Jewry Update, 1977,
SOS Soviet Jewry, 1966-1974.
North American Jewish Student Appeal, 1964-1996 Bulk 1971-1996, I-338 and I-338 A.
Records of student run program promoting Jewish identity among college aged
and records of fundraising arm.
Includes 4 posters: 4 posters in Box 111 Folder 5 :
"Arabs Conquer Israel" Poster circa 1971-1974
"Freedom Ride for Alexei Magarik: The Youngest Prisoner of Zion" Poster 
"In America, You Have to Kill Someone to Get 12 Years in Prison. In Russia, You May Just Have to Teach Hebrew" Poster 1983
"Kruschev, 1903-1971: From Pogroms to Prison Camps" Poster circa 1971.
National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council Records (formerly NCRAC, after 1997 JCRC), n.d., 1940-1994, I-172
Includes material on varied activities relating to discrimination, immigration, Israel, and Soviet Jewry. Box 75, Soviet Jewry 1965-1975.
UJA Oral History Collection, 1981-2000, I-433.
For access to the collection or any other questions about ASJM resources at the AJHS, please contact archivist Tanya Elder.
ASJM Related Collectons at Other Institutions
Involvement in the Soviet Jewry Movement, online presentation by Louis Rosenblum.
The Cleveland Council on Soviet Anti-Semitism Records, 1960-1983
Cleveland Council on Soviet Anti-Semitism Photographs, 1965-1977
Louis Rosenblum Papers, 1964-2004
Cleveland Council on Soviet Anti-Semitism Audio Tapes
Committee of Concerned Scientists Records. View Finding Aid
Soviet Jewry Project
Archival collecting, oral histories, traveling exhibition, curriculum for students, Living History production, public programs, publications.
Pathfinder for materials on Soviet Jews History and Issues. View Finding Aid
Committee of Concerned Citizens for Soviet Jews in Denver, 1968-1991
Charles Colson Papers. View Finding Aid
Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. View Finding Aid
*Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.