Lawrence I. Lerner Papers
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of reports on four trips to visit Jews in the Soviet Union taken by Lawrence I. Lerner in 1988, 1989 and 1991. Also included are case histories of the Refuseniks whom Lerner visited or considered to visit during those trips. Some of the case histories contain photographs and notes by Mr. Lerner.
The collection consists of one half manuscript box.
- 1987-1988, 1991
- Lerner, Lawrence, I. (Person)
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The Papers of Lawrence I. Lerner 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.
Lawrence I. Lerner is an attorney admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Lerner served as a member of the President's Advisory Committee on Domestic Policy Review of Industrial Innovation from 1978-1979. While specializing in intellectual property laws, Mr. Lerner also applied his expertise to cases concerning the rule of law affecting social justice, such as racial discrimination, fair housing and employment in his home state of New Jersey. Starting in 1979, he became concerned with the dire situation of Jews in the Soviet Union. Mr. Lerner repeatedly traveled to the Soviet Union to visit Refuseniks and participated in filing legal pleas for Prisoners of Conscience based on international treaties and the Soviet Constitution. After an unsuccessful run for the House of Representatives in 1996, Mr. Lerner retired from the practice of law and became the President of the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union (UCJFSU), formerly known as Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, a national umbrella organization for approximately fifty grassroots Soviet Jewry movement agencies. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the UCJFSU continued to fight Antisemitism and xenophobia and to promote human rights and the rule of law in the former Soviet states. UCJFSU coordinates over fifty organizations that monitor human rights in the F.S.U.
1 Manuscript Boxes (1/4 linear foot)
Language of Materials
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.
The collection is arranged into a single series.
Located in AJHS New York, NY
Donated by Lawrence I. Lerner in 2007.
- Guide to the Lawrence I. Lerner Papers, 1987-1988, 1991 *P-952
- Processed by Andrey Filimonov
- © 2013
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- Description is in English.
- Digitization of the Papers of Lawrence I. Lerner (P-952) was made possible through a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
- May 2015: Added dao links by Eric Fritzler.
- November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.