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Bert Silver Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-949

Scope and Content Note

The papers of Bert Silver document his activities on behalf of Soviet Jewry in the 1970s and early 1980s as president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington and as chair of the commission on international affairs of the American Jewish Congress in Washington, D.C. The collection also includes materials pertaining to the article for the Civil Rights Digest and speeches on Jews in the U.S.S.R. by the civil rights attorney—and first woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights—Frankie Muse Freeman. Bert Silver assisted Mrs. Freeman when he worked on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in the early 1970s.

The materials include correspondence, news clippings, audio recordings, memorandums, reports and photographs.

The collection consists of one half manuscript box.

Dates

  • undated, 1971-1973, 1978, 1980-1982

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 Bert Silver is 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.

Mr. Silver served as president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, worked on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and chaired the commission on international affairs of the American Jewish Congress in Washington, D.C.

Bert Silver organized a multitude of vigils and demonstrations in Washington, D.C. He urged United States government officials and congressmen to join in the efforts of the Soviet Jewry movement.

As an Assistant Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Mr. Silver assisted an influential civil rights attorney, the Honorable Frankie Muse Freeman in creating an article on Soviet Jewry for the Commission's publication Civil Rights Digest. The article served as the basis for several speeches Mrs. Freeman delivered on the subject of Soviet Jewry.

In 1980 Bert Silver represented American Jewry in a three-faith delegation to the U.S.S.R. The delegation also included Lutheran pastor Rev. John Steinbruck and Roman Catholic Priest Father Eugene Brake. The delegation met with the Soviet Jewish Refuseniks in Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad, and Pentecostals taking refuge in the American embassy in Moscow.

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet (1 half manuscript box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The collection documents the activities on behalf of Soviet Jewry of Bert Silver who served as president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, worked on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and chaired the commission on international affairs of the American Jewish Congress in Washington, D.C.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Bert Silver in 2006.

Related Material

The Papers of Bert Silver 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), 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), 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) and Abraham Silverstein(P-947).

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).

Creator

Title
Guide to the Bert Silver Papers, undated, 1971-1973, 1978, 1980-1982 *P-949
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Andrey Filimonov
Date
© 2012
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