Morey Schapira Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Morey Schapira Papers cover the years 1963 through 2010 with the bulk dating in the 1970s and 1980s. The collection documents nearly 30 years of Morey Schapira’s involvement in the Soviet Jewry movement, the development and increasing importance of the issues of Soviet Jews worldwide, the relations between the U.S. and U.S.S.R., and the collapse of the U.S.S.R. The materials cover activities of many Soviet Jewry organizations. Those groups most strongly represented are Action for Soviet Jewry, Bay Area Council on Soviet Jewry, New England Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and Union of Councils for Soviet Jews. Many other organizations that are represented include Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry, Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry, National Conference on Soviet Jewry, National Interreligious Task Force on Soviet Jewry South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry, Southern California Council for Soviet Jews, Soviet Jewry Legal Advocacy Center, Washington Committee for Soviet Jewry, Committee of Concerned Scientists and Scientists for Sakharov, Orlov and Shcharansky.
The collection also contain topical files which did not originate with any specific group, trip reports from visitors to the U.S.S.R., and a very large body of newspaper clippings concerning Soviet Jewry, the Soviet Union and related issues.
The documents include correspondence, notes, memoranda, publications, news clippings, photographs, ephemera, and a video recording on CD-ROM.
- undated, 1963, 1965-1994, 1996-1997, 2010
- Schapira, Morey (Person)
The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.
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Morey Schapira (1949- ) first became active in the struggle to gain freedom for Soviet Jews in the late 1960s. Following his graduation from Case Western Reserve University in 1970 he worked in Boston as a research physicist for five years.
During his years in Boston Mr. Schapira's involvement with Soviet Jews broadened and deepened for he felt that the traditional Jewish leadership did not offer enough activities and programs on behalf of Soviet Jews. In 1971 he became president of the New England Student Struggle for Soviet Jews. This led in 1974 to his becoming a national vice president of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jews. While in Boston he also co-founded Action for Soviet Jewry of Boston and Medical Mobilization for Soviet Jews.
In 1977 he received an MBA from Harvard and completed a thesis entitled "U.S.-U.S.S.R. Technology Transfer." From Harvard he moved to San Francisco. From 1979-1984 he was president of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews, which had over 2,000 members. This group was one of the most active member councils of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews which had 100,000 members nationwide. Mr. Schapira's reputation for commitment to and concern for the plight of Soviet Jews led him to become first a board member and then a national vice president of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews. He was elected national president of the organization 1984-1986.
Mr. Schapira traveled to the former U.S.S.R. in 1974 to meet with leading Refuseniks and dissidents. He has spent time with Soviet Jews in Israel, spoken hundreds of times before various audiences about the Soviet Jewry issue, testified several times before Congress, and briefed Cabinet members on human rights issues before their trips to the U.S.S.R.
56.27 Linear Feet (112 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Language of Materials
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.
The collection is divided into three series as follows:
Located in AJHS New York, NY
The records were donated by the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007, and by Morey Schapira in 2013.
Washington Post ad autographed by Secretary Shultz in MAP1, Folder 1 was donated by Morey Schapira in February 2017.
- American Bar Association
- American Jewish Congress
- B'nai B'rith International
- Bay Area Council on Soviet Jewry
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Committee of Concerned Scientists
- Dershowitz, Alan M.
- Drinan, Robert F.
- Emigration and immigration
- Gilbert, Martin, 1936-2015
- Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry
- Human rights
- Jews, Ethiopian
- Jews, Soviet
- National Conference on Soviet Jewry (U.S.)
- North American Jewish Students' Network
- Notes (documents)
- Nudel, Ida
- Political activists
- Political posters
- Publications (documents)
- Sakharov, Andreĭ, 1921-1989
- Shcharansky, Anatoly
- Simon Wiesenthal Center
- South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry
- Soviet Union
- Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry
- Union of Councils for Soviet Jews
- United Jewish Appeal
- United States
- United States (Section 402) (Title of work: Trade Act of 1974..)
- United States. Congress
- United States. Congress. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
- Guide to the Morey Schapira (1949- ) Papers, undated, 1963, 1965-1994, 1996-1997, 2010 * P-906
- Processed by by Harvey N. Gardiner and Andrey Filimonov
- © 2011
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
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- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.
Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository
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