Guide to the Papers of Ralph Dalin,


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



© 2019  American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Andrey Filimonov in December 2016. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Dalin, Ralph A.
Title: Ralph Dalin Papers
Abstract: Papers of an American Soviet Jewry movement activist Rabbi Ralph A. Dalin that contain correspondence with Refuseniks in the Soviet Union, sermons, and reports on trips to the USSR, publications and newspaper clippings related to his activism.
Languages: The collection is in English, with some material in Hebrew.
Quantity: 1 folder
Identification: P-1022
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS New York, NY
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Historical Note
 Rabbi Ralph Dalin (on the left) visiting Refuseniks Grigori, Elena, and Rachel Genusov in USSR, 1987.

Rabbi Ralph Dalin (on the left) visiting Refuseniks Grigori, Elena, and Rachel Genusov in USSR, 1987.

Rabbi Ralph A. Dalin was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is affiliated with the Rabbinical Assembly, the National Association of Jewish Chaplains, and the San Diego Rabbinical Association, and serves on the Biomedical Ethics Committee of Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and on the C.P.E. Professional Consultation Committee of Sharp Memorial Hospital.

As a spiritual leader of Shaare Tikvah Congregation in Temple Hills, Maryland, and the Soviet Jewry chair of the Washington Board of Rabbis, Rabbi Dalin advocated on behalf of Soviet Jews. He helped organize solidarity vigils, participated in the interfaith efforts to aid Refuseniks, and repeatedly traveled to the USSR to meet with the Jews in need of spiritual and material support.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains letters to Rabbi Dalin from Jews in the Soviet Union, in English and Hebrew, news clippings, reports, and sermons on his 1976 and 1986 missions to the USSR, and a copy of “Trial and Error” by Wayne Firestone, a play written in 1985, distributed by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. The play is based on a transcript of the trial of Yuli Edelshtein. Also included are clippings, letters and memos on the co-adoption of Refuseniks Yuli Edelstein and Yuli Kosharovsky by Shaare Tikvah Congregation and neighboring Broadview Baptist Church in Temple Hills, Maryland, with letters of appreciation from Steny Hamilton Hoyer, the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 5th congressional district and chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The collection also includes a children's book Rachel and Mischa by Steven and Ilene Bayar from Rockville, Maryland, that compares lives of a Jewish boy in the USSR and a Jewish girl in the United States. The boy character is based on a real Refusenik child Rabbi Dalin had met during his 1986 trip to the Soviet Union.

The collection features "The Refusenik Dreidel"—a mini-poster with an illustrated short story by Nurit Zachter, part of the Holiday Series of the Coalition to Free Soviet Jews.

The collection consists of one folder.

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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 Collections and Engagement 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:

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Related Material

National Jewish Welfare Board Military Chaplaincy Records (I-249) at the American Jewish Historical Society contain materials on Rabbi Ralph Dalin's father, William Z. Dalin.

The Papers of Ralph Dalin 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 (I-181 and I-181A), the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (I-410, I-410A), the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews and Bay Area Council for Jewish Rescue and Renewal (I-505 and I-505A), Houston Action for Soviet Jewry (I-500), 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), Jewish Defense League (I-374) 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 Gerber 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), Harry Lerner (P-972), Alan L. Cohen (P-973), Murray Levine (P-974), Jack Minker (P-975), Meta Joy Jacoby (P-992), Barry Marks (P-993), Harold and Judith S. Einhorn (P-996), Carol and Michael Bierman (P-1007) and Bayard Rustin (P-1015).

American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection (I-548) contains audio and video interviews with activists of the American Soviet Jewry Movement, former Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience.

American Soviet Jewry Movement Photographs (I-495) contains digitized photographs from The Archives of the American Soviet Jewry Movement.

American Soviet Jewry Movement Posters and Ephemera Collection (I-566) contains digitized posters and ephemera from The Archives of the American Soviet Jewry Movement.

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); Ralph Dalin Papers; P-1022 ; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Ralph Dalin in 2016.

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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.

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.


Ralph Dalin Papers, 1976-1989

The series is in English.
One folder.
Scope and Content:

See the collection Scope and Content Note.

CB-P 10 1 Ralph Dalin Papers 1976-1989request_box

[See also: National Conference on Soviet Jewry Records (I-181A) contains digitized 1986 USSR trip report by Rabbi Dalin].

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