Guide to the American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection,
2008-2011, 2013

*I-548

Processed by Andrey Filimonov

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Andrey Filimonov in May 2013. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: American Jewish Historical Society
Title: American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection
Dates:2008-2011, 2013
Abstract: The collection contains audio and video interviews with activists of the American Soviet Jewry Movement, former Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience.
Languages: The collection is in English and Russian.
Quantity: 1 folder (1/4 linear foot)
Identification: *I-548
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS New York, NY
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Historical and Biographical Notes

American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories represent one collection housed within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM). These papers reflect the effort, beginning in the 1960s through the late 1980s, of thousands of American Jews of all denominations and political orientations to stop the persecution and discrimination of Jews in the Soviet Union. The American Soviet Jewry Movement (ASJM) is considered to be the most influential Movement of the American Jewish community in the 20th century. The beginnings of the organized American Soviet Jewry Movement became a model for efforts to aid Soviet Jews in other countries, among them Great Britain, Canada, and France. The movement can be traced to the early 1960s, when the first organizations were created to address the specific problem of the persecution and isolation of Soviet Jews by the government of the Soviet Union.

The mission of the ASJM Oral History Project is to record, transcribe and preserve personal narratives from the American Soviet Jewry Movement. Through interviews with participants in the effort, the project aims to capture this period of American Jewish history and its great impact on individuals, politics and the movement of Jews to escape oppression in the Former Soviet Union for lives of their choosing in the US, Israel and elsewhere.

The collection contains oral histories with the following persons:

Cohen, Pamela

Prominent activist of the American Soviet Jewry Movement, Pamela B. Cohen began her activity through the independent grassroots council, the Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry (CASJ). In 1978, she 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.

Gradinger, Sanford A.

Rochester, NY businessman and human rights activist, 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.

Hill, David, Rabbi

A pioneer of the Soviet Jewry movement, New York City Rabbi and businessman Rabbi Hill served as the national president of the National Council of Young Israel, was a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and an officer of National Conference on Soviet Jewry. Starting in 1971, he ran Operation Lifeline, an independently funded outreach program created by the NCSJ Commission on Education and Culture to support Jewish life in the USSR and Former Soviet Union.

Jacobson, Charlotte

A National President of Hadassah from 1964 to 1968, Charlotte Jacobson occupied a number of key positions in the American and world Zionist leadership and traveled to the Soviet Union to defend the rights of Soviet Jews.

Lieberman, Leah

Co-founder of the Brooklyn Coalition for Soviet Jewry.

Pesky, Alan

An activist in the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry later renamed the Coalition to Free Soviet Jews.

Sandberg, Joel and Adele

Co-founders of the South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry.

Schapira, Morey

A prominent activist of the American Soviet Jewry movement, Mr. Schapira held leadership positions in several organizations including: 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.

Spiegel, Philip

Soviet Jewry movement activist and an author of the book Triumph Over Tyranny: The Heroic Campaigns that Saved 2,000,000 Soviet Jews.

Taratuta, Aba and Ida

Former Refuseniks and Soviet Jewish activists from Leningrad, presently residing in Israel.

Vershubsky, Nosson

Former Soviet Jewish Refusenik and Prisoner of Conscience (POC), former Chief Rabbi of Voronezh.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains a CD-ROM with video and audio files of eleven oral history interviews.

The collection consists of one folder.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a single series.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:

American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, N.Y., 10011 email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories is one individual collection within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM) located at the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). Other Soviet Jewry Movement collections at AJHS include the records of Action for Soviet Jewry (I-487), the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ; I-181 and I-181A), the Jewish Defense League (I-374), the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (I-410, I-410A), Houston Action for Soviet Jewry (I-500), Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews (I-505), Seattle Action for Soviet Jewry (I-507), The Jewish Chronicle Soviet Jewry Collection (I-523), B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Soviet Jewry Movement Collection (I-529), Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry (I-530), Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (I-538), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (I-543), Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans (I-547), the papers of Joel Ackerman (P-787), Julia Mates Cheney (P-806), Jerry Goodman (P-863), Laurel and Alan J. Gould (P-866), Carolyn W. Sanger (P-870), Leah Lieberman (P-869), Si Frumkin (P-871), Elaine Pittell (P-873), Sanford A. Gradinger (P-880), Shaul Osadchey (P-882), Leonard S. Cahan (P-883), Doris H. Goldstein (P-887), David H. Hill (P-888), Margery Sanford (P-889), Pinchas Mordechai Teitz (P-891), David Waksberg (P-895), Pamela B. Cohen (P-897), Moshe Decter (P-899), William Korey (P-903), Morey Schapira (P-906), Charlotte Gerper Turner (P-907), Myrtle Sitowitz (P-908), Kathleen M. Hyman (P-911), Babette Wampold (P-912), Rabbi David Goldstein and Shannie Goldstein (P-918), Leslie Schaffer (P-923), Arthur Bernstein (P-925), Dolores Wilkenfeld (P-927), Sylvia Weinberg (P-928) , Irwin H. Krasna (P-934) , Constance S. Kreshtool (P-935), Betty Golomb (P-938), Grace Perlbinder (P-942), Mort Yadin (P-943), Ann Polunsky (P-886), Lillian Foreman (P-945), Marilyn Labendz(P-946), Abraham Silverstein(P-947), Bert Silver (P-949), Billie Kozolchyk (P-950), John Steinbruck (P-951), Lawrence I. Lerner (P-952), Ruth Geller Gold (P-953), Efry Spectre (P-954), Alan M. Kohn (P-956), Frank Brodsky (P-957), Victor Borden (P-959), Estelle Newman (P-960), Carol S. Kekst (P-961), Linda Rutta (P-965), Rachel Braun (P-967), Jack Forgash (P-968), Michael Greene (P-969), Judith A. Manelis (P-970), Fred Greene (P-971) and Harry Lerner (P-972).

Additional materials from other collections include records dealing with the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) located within the North American Jewish Students Appeal (NAJSA, I-338) and the records of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC, I-172). Related records are also located at the AJHS in Newton Centre, MA including memorabilia and ephemera of the New England Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (I-237) and the Records of the Student Coalition for Soviet Jewry – Brandeis University (I-493).

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection; *I-548 ; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

Created by the American Jewish Historical Society in 2008-2011, 2013.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection, 2008-2011, 2013

The series is in English and Russian.
1 folder.
Scope and Content:

See the collection Scope and Content Note.

BoxFolderTitleDate
CB 1 American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection 2008-2011, 2013
  

CD-ROM containing oral histories of the following persons:

Cohen, Pamela, 07-20-2010 (video)

Gradinger, Sanford A., 05-13-2010 (video)

Hill, David, Rabbi, 05-07-2008 (audio)

Jacobson, Charlotte, 03-19-2008 (audio)

Lieberman, Leah, 05-12-2009 (video)

Pesky, Alan, 12-08-2011 (video)

Sandberg, Joel and Adele, 03-18-2008 (audio)

Schapira, Morey, 10-27-2010 (video)

Spiegel, Philip, 11-19-2010 (video)

Taratuta, Aba and Ida, 08-27-2009 (video, the interview is in Russian)

Vershubsky, Nosson, Rabbi 02-07-2013 (video)

 
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