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Myrtle Sitowitz Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-908

Scope and Content Note

Myrtle Sitowitz’ collection contains correspondence, newspaper articles, a children’s guide to Soviet Jewry, profiles and case histories of the Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience, community planning information.

The documents include notes, memos, correspondence, publications, news clippings and a bumper sticker.

Dates

  • undated, 1972, 1975-1989

Creator

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at mmeyers@ajhs.org.

For reference questions, please email: inquiries@cjh.org

Historical Note

The Papers of Myrtle Sitowitz 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 collection reflects Myrtle Sitowitz' work on behalf of Jews in the U.S.S.R. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Mrs. Sitowitz was active in The 35's—The Women’s Campaign for Soviet Jewry, an international organization with members throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. The 35's maintained direct contact with the Jews of the Soviet Union and documented and publicized the human rights violations they were subjected to by the Soviet government and also encouraged public protest. The 35's sponsored rallies, demonstrations and marathons to promote their cause. The group kept in touch with United States elected officials to inform them about the plight of Soviet Jews, and facilitated political action on their behalf. The Campaign's activists wrote and telephoned Soviet officials to demand that the U.S.S.R. complied with international human rights laws.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The papers of Myrtle Sitowitz reflect her work on behalf of Jews in the U.S.S.R. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Mrs. Sitowitz was active in The 35's—The Women’s Campaign for Soviet Jewry, an international organization with members throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. Myrtle Sitowitz’s collection contains correspondence, newspaper articles, a children’s guide to Soviet Jewry, profiles and case histories of the Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience, community planning information. The materials include notes, memos, correspondence, publications, news clippings and a bumper sticker.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a single series.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007.

Related Material

The papers of Myrtle Sitowitz 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 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), Medical Mobilization for Soviet Jewry, 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), 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) and Charlotte Gerper Turner (P-907).

Individual accounts of activities within the Soviet Jewry Movement are preserved in the UJA Oral History Collection (I-433), which includes accounts from members of the following organizations: the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, Bay Area Council on Soviet Jews (BACSJ), Seattle Action for Soviet Jews, Houston Action for Soviet Jews, Chicago Action for Soviet Jews, Colorado Committee of Concern for Soviet Jews and the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. Interviewees include accounts by Lillian Forman (BACSJ), Ann Polunsky, Morey Schapira, Myrtle Sitowitz, Deborah Turkin, David Waksberg, Sylvia Weinberg and Dolores Wilkenfeld. In addition, posters related to the Soviet Jewry Movement can be found in the Jewish Student Organizations Collection (I-61).

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).
Title
Guide to the Myrtle Sitowitz Papers, undated, 1972, 1975-1989 *P-908
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Andrey Filimonov
Date
© 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States