Soviet Jewry Movement

A Cold War Exodus

A Cold War Exodus: How American Activists Mobilized to Free Soviet Jews

A COLD WAR EXODUS How American Activists Mobilized to Free Soviet Jews New York University Press, 2024 View on Amazon Reveals the mass mobilization tactics that helped free Soviet Jews and reshaped the Jewish American experience from the Johnson era through the Reagan–Bush years What do these things have in common? Ingrid Bergman, Passover matzoh,…

Posted by on March 19, 2024 in , , ,

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Elie Wiesel Goes to Moscow: On the (In)visibility of Systemic Antisemitism

Vanderbilt Law School, Dean’s Lecture Series on Race and Discrimination April 3, 2023 Two decades after he was liberated from Auschwitz, and two decades before he won the Nobel Peace Price, Elie Wiesel visited the USSR to report back on the plight of Soviet Jews. His 1966 travelogue, The Jews of Silence, became the galvanizing…

Posted by on April 3, 2023 in Lectures and Podcasts, , ,

Cover Image, "Tourism and Travel During the Cold War"

Foreign Tourists, Domestic Encounters: Human Rights Travel to Soviet Jewish Homes

2020. In Sune Bechmann Pedersen and Christian Noack, eds. Tourism and Travel during the Cold War: Negotiating Tourist Experiences across the Iron Curtain, London: Routledge. Circumventing the Soviet government’s travel bureau, Western organizations working for Soviet Jewish emigration rights collaborated with Jewish activists in the USSR to create an alternative tourist track that regularly opened…

Posted by on December 23, 2019 in Articles, Research, , ,

Cover Image, Frontieres et Alterite

À la rencontre des juifs de l’autre côté du rideau de fer : récits de voyage de juifs américains et représentation du judaïsme en Union soviétique

2019. “Encountering Jews on the other Side of the Iron Curtain: American Jewish Travel Writing and the Representation of Judaism in the Soviet Union”, in Andreas Nijenhuis-Bescher, Susanne Berthier-Foglar, Gilles Bertrand and Frédéric Meyer, eds., Frontières et altérité religieuse : La religion dans le récit de voyage [Boundaries and Religious Otherness : Religion in Travel Writing]….

Posted by on December 22, 2019 in Articles, Research, ,


Where is the Next Soviet Jewry Movement? How Identity Education Forgot the Lessons that Jewish Activism Taught

2019. In Jon Levisohn and Ari Y. Kelman, eds., Beyond Jewish Identity: Rethinking Concepts and Imagining Alternatives. Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press. Pp. 193-215.

Posted by on November 23, 2019 in Articles, Research, ,


The American Soviet Jewry Movement’s ‘Uneventful’ 1968: Cold War Liberalism, Human Interest and the Politics of the Long Haul

2018. In American Jewish History 102(1), 5-35. How did the American campaign for Soviet Jews, a movement born in and of the 1960s, manage to pass the tumultuous 1968 in relative quiet? And what does this reveal about the movement itself, its relationship to the politics of the New Left, and the relationship between internal…

Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Articles, Research, ,

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Forgotten Lessons of Jewish Activism: How American Jews Mobilized to Fight for Human Rights in the USSR (and Saved American Jewry in the Process)

A lecture delivered  to the Center for Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Youngstown State University in October 2017.

Posted by on October 24, 2017 in Lectures and Podcasts, ,

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The Soviet Jewry Movement

A podcast produced by the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan in March 2016.

Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Lectures and Podcasts, ,

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Soviet Jewry Activists & Civic Engagement

Delivered March 6, 2014, for the Murray Friedman Memorial Lecture, a symposium sponsored by Temple University’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, and co-sponsored with the American Jewish Committee Philadelphia and the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Posted by on March 6, 2016 in Lectures and Podcasts, ,

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The Timeless and the Timely: Sacralizing Political Activism in the Campaign for Soviet Jewry

A lecture delivered on February 25, 2016 at the University of Michigan, the Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies.  

Posted by on February 25, 2016 in Lectures and Podcasts, ,