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Leslie Schaffer Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-923

Scope and Content Note

Leslie Schaffer’s collection contains materials related to her trip to the Soviet Union in March of 1982, where she visited Refuseniks in Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev. The collection features Leslie Schaffer’s report on her trip submitted to the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews, photos, copies of travel documents and receipts, and information on the Refuseniks that she had obtained during her travels. Of particular interest are the Juicy Fruit™ gum wrappers with hidden writings that were used to smuggle sensitive information like names and addresses of the Refuseniks out of the U.S.S.R.

The collection also includes correspondence related to the trip with the Refuseniks, family members, and other Soviet Jewry movement activists. Also included are background materials on the U.S.S.R., profiles of Soviet Jewish Refuseniks, and trip reports from other activists.

Dates

  • undated, 1979-1980, 1982, 1984-1987, 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 Leslie Schaffer 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.

Papers of Leslie Schaffer of Reno, Nevada document her trip to the Soviet Union to visit Soviet Jewish Refuseniks in Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev in March of 1982.

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet (1 half manuscript box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Papers of the Soviet Jewry movement activist Leslie Schaffer of Reno, Nevada document her trip to the Soviet Union to visit Soviet Jewish Refuseniks in Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev in March of 1982. The collection includes trip reports notes and photographs, correspondence, biographies of the Refuseniks, travel documents and receipts and background materials on the U.S.S.R.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a single series.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Donated by the Leslie Schaffer in 2007.

Related Material

The papers of Leslie Schaffer 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), 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) and Rabbi David Goldstein and Shannie Goldstein (P-918).

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 Leslie Schaffer (1953- ) Papers, undated, 1979-1980, 1982, 1984-1987, 1989 *P-923
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.
Sponsor
Digitization of the Papers of Leslie Schaffer (P-923) was made possible through a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Revision Statements

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