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Carol and Michael Bierman Papers

Identifier: P-1007

Scope and Content Note

The collection features background information on Jews in the Soviet Union, and American Soviet Jewry movement efforts in the form of news clippings and reprinted articles from local and national press, transcripts of speeches, pamphlets, brochures, circular letters and flyers. Of particular interest is a 1971-1973 run of Undercover, a periodic newsletter published by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, D.C. that provided updates on the conditions of Jews in the USSR. Documents and ephemera (buttons) from demonstrations, rallies and cultural events on behalf of Soviet Jewry are also included. The collection includes transcripts of speeches and reports from the World Conference of Jewish Communities on Soviet Jewry in Brussels, of which Bierman was an active participant. The collection also includes proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry on the Rights of Soviet Jews, convened in New York City in 1971. Photographs found in the collection are of Soviet Jewry events in the United States, World Conference of Jewish Communities on Soviet Jewry in Brussels, and of several Soviet Jewish Prisoners of Conscience. Audio and video materials pertaining to Refuseniks, Prisoners of Conscience and on Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union are also included.

The collection consists of two manuscript boxes and one half manuscript box.


  • Creation: 1971-1990


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

For reference questions, please email:

Historical Note

The Papers of Carol and Michael Bierman 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 Americans 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.

Michael A. Bierman, a community developer and Jewish Studies educator, was active in the Soviet Jewry movement from the 1970s through the 1990s. As a leader of Jewish community organizations, such as the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Rockland County, Jewish Federation of South Bend, Indiana, and the Community Relations department of the United Jewish Federation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and as a volunteer, Michael Bierman and his wife Carol helped resettle Jewish immigrants arriving from the Soviet Union. He helped organize rallies, demonstrations, and cultural events on behalf of the Jews in the Soviet Union and participated in the World Conference of Jewish Communities on Soviet Jewry in Brussels, Belgium.


2 Manuscript Boxes

Language of Materials



This collection contains personal papers of the American Soviet Jewry movement activists Carol and Michael Bierman including background materials on Jews in the USSR, documents, and artifacts from demonstrations, rallies and cultural events of the movement, newsletters, pamphlets, and brochures. Also included are photographs and audio and video materials pertaining to Refuseniks, Prisoners of Conscience and Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union.


The collection is arranged into a single series.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Donated by Michael Bierman in 2015.

Digitization Note

The audiocassettes in this collection were digitized and made fully accessible online in 2017.

Related Material

The Papers of Carol and Michael Bierman 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 Gerper 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) and Harold and Judith S. Einhorn (P-996).

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).

Separated Material

The following books were donated with the collection. They are available at the library of the Center for Jewish History.

  1. Azbel, M. (1981). Refusenik, trapped in the Soviet Union. New York: Paragon House.
  2. Begun, V. (1975). Creeping counter-revolution (H. Spier, Trans.) London: Institute of Jewish Affairs.
  3. Decter, M. (1970). Redemption! Jewish freedom letters from Russia. New York: American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry.
  4. Decter, M., and Kochubievskii, B. (1970). A hero for our time; the trial and fate of Boris Kochubiyevsky. New York: Academic Committee on Soviet Jewry.
  5. Friedberg, M. (1972). Why they left: A survey of Soviet Jewish emigrants. New York: Academic Committee on Soviet Jewry.
  6. Gitelman, Z. (1971). The Jewish religion in the USSR. New York: Institute for Jewish Policy Planning and Research of the Synagogue Council of America.
  7. Gitelman, Z. (1972). Soviet immigrants in Israel. New York: Institute for Jewish Policy Planning and Research, Synagogue Council of America.
  8. Glazer, N. (1971). Perspectives on Soviet Jewry. New York: Published for Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith by Ktav Pub. House.
  9. Goldberg, D. (1989). Keeping the Promise: 50 UJA jubilee; the first fifty years at the United Jewish Appeal; a pictorial history 1939-1989. New York, NY: UJA.
  10. Israel, S. (1967). Russian sketches; a visit to Jews without hope. New York: American Jewish Committee, Institute of Human Relations.
  11. Kam, L. (1989). Pamyat, hatred under glasnost. New York, NY: Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.
  12. Kuznetsov, E. (1975). Prison diaries. New York: Stein and Day.
  13. Light on Soviet Jewry: Report of a conference on Jews in the U.S.S.R., London, June 15, 1969. (1969). London: Board of Deputies of British Jews.
  14. Moriah, Y. (1969). Anti-semitism--tool of Soviet policy. Tel Aviv: [Organization of Partisans, War Veterans and Nazi Victims].
  15. Schechtman, J. (1966). Zionism and Zionists in Soviet Russia: Greatness and drama. New York: Zionist Organization of America.
  16. Prisoners of conscience in the USSR: Their treatment and conditions. (1975). London: Amnesty International Publications.
  17. Schroeter, L. (1974). The last exodus. New York: Universe Books.
  18. Valentin, H. (1936). The Jews and bolshevism. New York city: [American Jewish committee].
  19. Voronel, A., and Yakhot, V. (1974). Jewishness rediscovered: Jewish identity in the Soviet Union. New York: Academic Committee on Soviet Jewry.
Guide to the Carol and Michael Bierman Papers, 1971-1990 P-1007
Processed by Andrey Filimonov
© 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processed as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • March 2017: Links to digitized audio added by Nicole Greenhouse.
  • November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States