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Dolores Wilkenfeld Papers

Identifier: P-927

Scope and Content Note

The papers of Dolores Wilkenfeld reflect her work on the Women’s Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jewry event in Houston, Texas. They include organizational materials developed and utilized locally, as well as those from the Leadership Conference of National Jewish Women’s Organization, the original “umbrella” coordinating body for the event. The script and the printed program for the observance and a copy of the Proclamation declaring December 6, 1971 to be Women’s Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jewry Day in Houston, signed by past mayor of Houston, Louis Welch, are also included. The collection contains news clippings with press coverage of the event.

The materials include correspondence, memos, pamphlets, proclamations, programs (documents), transcripts, petitions, clippings.


  • Creation: 1971


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 Dolores Wilkenfeld 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 contains materials related to the Women’s Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jewry, an event organized by Dolores Wilkenfeld on December 6, 1971 in Houston, Texas. The interreligious event was organized on behalf of of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (Presently Women of Reform Judaism) via its local affiliates, Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood and Temple Emanu El Sisterhood. The public observance that took place in the University of St. Thomas was one of twenty-seven such events in major cities across America held on the same date. The program featured readings of letters from Jews in the U.S.S.R. and other dramatic readings, speeches by a former Soviet Refusenik and by prominent female activists from Houston’s Jewish and non-Jewish communities and, and several musical numbers. The event concluded with reading of the resolution for women of all faiths to join in an urgent plea for Soviet Jewry. The participants were asked to sign a petition demanding the right for Soviet Jews to emigrate and freely practice Judaism.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 half manuscript box)

Language of Materials



Papers of the Soviet Jewry movement activist Dolores Wilkenfeld of Houston, TX. The materials reflect the Women’s Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jewry--an interreligious event to promote Soviet Jewry movement, organized by Mrs. Wilkenfeld on December 6, 1971 in Houston, TX. The materials include correspondence, memos, petitions, proclamations, programs (documents), transcripts, pamphlets and clippings.


The collection is arranged into a single series.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Donated by the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007.

Related Material

The papers of Dolores Wilkenfeld 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 Jewish Chronicle Soviet Jewry Collection, 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) and Arthur Bernstein (P-925)

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 Wilkenfeld 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).

Guide to the Dolores Wilkenfeld Papers, 1971 *P-927
Processed by Andrey Filimonov
© 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Digitization of the Papers of Dolores Wilkenfeld (P-927) was made possible through a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Revision Statements

  • April 2015: Added dao links by Eric Fritzler.
  • 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