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National Conference on Soviet Jewry, records

 Collection
Identifier: I-181 and I-181A

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of two parts, which reflect two different acquisitions of the NCSJ materials by AJHS. They are defined as Part One and Part Two and have respective collection numbers of I-181 (1964-1991) and I-181A (1966-1992). The numeration of container manuscript boxes is separate within each part, the numeration of folders is separate within each box, and the container description is on the folder level.

Scope and Content Note for I-181

The first part of the collection (I-181, 36 linear feet), which was donated in 1980, contains materials of the early period of NCSJ activities. It includes the records related to the restructuring of the American Jewish Conference for Soviet Jews (AJCSJ), which functioned from 1964 till 1971. Series I: American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry Records of Part One (I-181) includes materials of the organizational conference of 1964 in Washington, D.C., on which the AJCSJ was founded and AJCSJ bylaws, articles of association, correspondence on the restructuring of AJCSJ. Among other materials are minutes of meetings, a White Paper on Soviet Jewry (submitted to the President of the U.S. in 1968), information on programs like "Matzo of Hope," the Soviet Jewry Petition Campaign, recommendations on Soviet Jewry for Youth and Campus, the Simchat Torah Solidarity Demonstration, and the text of Appeal by Civil Rights Leaders for Soviet Jewry signed, among others, by Ralph David Abernathy, Bella Abzug, Cesar Chavez, R. Abraham Joshua Heschel, Coretta [Scott] King and Roy Wilkins. Also present are documents reflecting the American Jewish reaction on Soviet "hijacking" trials of 1970, resolutions on Soviet Jewry, memoranda and circular letters, and budget statements. An interesting and little known attempt to create a Yiddish language service at the Voice of America radio station in order to broadcast information directly to Soviet Jews (it was not implemented) is also documented in I-181 (box 2, folder 4, box 66, folders 1-3).

The transformation of the AJCSJ into NCSJ was taking place for about six months of the year 1971, from June, when the NCSJ was officially created, through December, when the new name was adopted and all the changes finalized. For this reason there is no clear watershed or border within the organization's materials from that period. Though the bulk of the AJCSJ-era materials is presented in Series I: American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry Records, there is the occasional presence of AJCSJ documents in many folders related to the work of officers and committees of the NCSJ, especially in I-181 Series II (NCSJ Chairmen and Staff Mailings and Correspondence), III (NCSJ Committees Records) and IV (Organizations Correspondence).

One needs to mention that AJCSJ stationary was used well after it was reorganized into NCSJ. The breadth of efforts of AJCSJ and NCSJ is reflected in Series IV: Organizations Correspondence, where correspondence with Jewish organizations of America is presented. Of particular importance are folders of the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith, Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council and local U.S. agencies.

Another important part of the NCSJ activities is presented in Series V: U.S. Presidential, House and Senate Correspondence and Printed Materials, correspondence with the U.S. government and legislation bodies, including the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations. These materials reflect NCSJ efforts to urge the Federal government to exercise pressure on the Soviet authorities in order to allow free emigration of Jews from the USSR, and meetings and talks with administration officials, Senators and Congressmen. The Series has original letters form presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Series VI: Foreign Organizations Correspondence and Printed Material of Part One (I-181) contains correspondence with foreign organizations involved in the Soviet Jewry Movement.

The largest segment of Part One (I-181) of the NCSJ collection is presented in Series VII: NCSJ Activities and covers projects and activities of the NCSJ that were designed to alert broader circles of Jewish and non-Jewish citizens about the plight of refuseniks and prisoners of conscience in the USSR and to strengthen the consolidation of Jewish-American efforts to aid Soviet Jews. Among the activities are projects related to the controversial issue of the destinations of Soviet Jewish émigrés and their resettlement ("Olim"-immigrants to Israel vs. "Drop outs"-Jews aspiring to go to the U.S.), Helsinki Human Rights, petition campaigns, Refusenik and Prisoner adoptions, Trade with the USSR, Visitors to the USSR, Scientists Solidarity and more.

Publications of various Soviet Jewry Movement organizations constitute Series VIII: Publications, and include bulletins, newsletters and press releases arranged alphabetically according to the name of the publication.

The collection has sixty-two posters (I-181, Series IX: Posters), which are stored in oversized folders (OS2F, MAP1, MAP2) and include forty unique images and twenty-two duplicates, all of which are related to the Soviet Jewry Movement.

Scope and Content Note for I-181A

The second part of the collection (I-181A, 168 linear feet) contains the records of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and audio recordings related to various aspects of the Soviet Jewry Movement and were received in 2006. The bulk of the collection belongs to the late 1970s-early 1980s. Some Series I materials reflect the activities of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, forerunner of NCSJ, and date from the 1960s. Documents in Series I: NCSJ Administrative Records, reflect the activities of the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors; correspondence of the Executive Director and the Chairman of NCSJ, meetings of the National Advisory Council; meetings of national and regional staff members, the Council of Associates, the Review Task Force Committee and more (I-181A, Series I). Contacts with the media and fundraising efforts of the NCSJ are reflected in the materials of I-181A Series II: Public Relations Records and Series III: Fundraising Records. The National Conference organized and took part in many forums on both Soviet Jewry and human rights in the USSR, and related material can be found in Series IV: Conferences, Actions, Projects and Events.

The NCSJ considered it to be of great importance to have the most accurate first-hand information on the conditions of Soviet refuseniks and prisoners of conscience. They updated their lists of refuseniks and prisoners and gathered in situ information on Soviet policies related to the treatment of foreign visitors. To these ends a considerable part of the NCSJ effort was directed towards organizing visits to Soviet Jews and refuseniks in the USSR and to producing guidelines for visitors. The material in the collection on visits to the USSR include a large body of about 800 travel reports, some with photographs, which constitute a valuable source for researchers of both Soviet Jews and Soviet policies in the 1970s-1980s (Series V: USSR Travel, Committee Files and Reports).

The NCSJ gathered information on refuseniks and prisoners of conscience and their families. As a result, the collection includes hundreds of individual folders on particular refuseniks and prisoners that contain information, which was widely disseminated through NCSJ publications, memoranda and circular letters. The information was also used for preparing cases for politicians and human rights lawyers, and for informational support of rallies and briefings. The refusenik folders are organized alphabetically, and include two bodies of folders, compiled at different times. The total number of individual folders is more than 1,000. There is also a refusenik and prisoner database on index cards (Series VI: USSR Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience Individual Files). Close to the content of Series VI is a body of individual files on Soviet Jewish émigrés-many of who were refuseniks and prisoners (Series VIII: USSR Jewish Émigrés Individual Files).

Among other materials are legal petitions on individual prisoners of conscience, prepared by prominent lawyer Telford Taylor, the former Counsel for the Prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials. The series also includes information on trials and sentencing of refuseniks (Series VII: Soviet Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience Legal Petitions, Affidavits and Memoranda). Among the documents are testimonies and statements made at the U.S. Congressional hearings on Soviet Jews and the Soviet legal system and contacts with United States administration officials (including U.S. presidents) on behalf of Soviet Jews (Series X: U.S. Government, Congress and Senate Contacts). Included is material on communication with other American Jewish and Soviet Jewry Movement-involved organizations (Series IX: Jewish Communal and ASJM Organizations Correspondence and Information Materials).

A large part of the collection are materials on the nature of the Soviet regime and its treatment of Jews, with particular emphasis on the legal and ideological side of the Soviet stance towards the Jews of the Soviet Union (Series XIII: Human Rights, U.S. and USSR Politics, International Politics, anti-Semitism and Holocaust, USSR Politics, General Information Materials).

The collection includes a large number of photographs and posters (Series XIV: Photographs and Oversized Materials) and a substantial audio collection, which records the efforts of American Soviet Jewry Movement activists and the voices of the Soviet refuseniks from behind the Iron Curtain (Series XV: Moving Image Film Strips and Videos).

List of Abbreviations

  1. AJC-American Jewish Committee
  2. AJCSJ-American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry
  3. CJFWF-Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds
  4. GNYCSJ-Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry
  5. HIAS-Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
  6. JDC-Joint Distribution Committee
  7. MFN-Most Favored Nation status granted to trading partners of the US
  8. NCSJ-National Conference on Soviet Jewry
  9. SSSJ-Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry
  10. UJA-United Jewish Appeal
  11. UCSJ-Union of Councils for Soviet Jewry

Dates

  • undated, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1958-1993

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English, with some Dutch, French, Georgian, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Yiddish.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:

American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

email: reference@ajhs.org

Historical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="'Yes we will join throughout this nation in a common struggle to return historic traditions to Soviet Jews to fight the laws that deny them the basic right to leave'— Poster by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry." href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=2808377" show="embed" title="'Yes we will join throughout this nation in a common struggle to return historic traditions to Soviet Jews to fight the laws that deny them the basic right to leave'— Poster by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry."/>

The National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) served as a coordinating agency for major national Jewish organizations and local community groups in the United States. The NCSJ acted on behalf of Soviet Jewry through public education and social action, which aimed to stimulate all segments of the community to maintain interest in the problems of Soviet Jews. To this end the NCSJ also published reports, memoranda, and pamphlets and sponsored special programs, organized public meetings, projects and forums.

The National Conference on Soviet Jewry was created in June 1971 as a result of the reorganization of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry (AJCSJ, 1964-1971). The NCSJ was devised to be an umbrella organization; a structure representing the effort of the main Jewish communal organizations to aid Soviet Jews and to attract the attention of the U.S. government to the plight of Jews in the USSR. Its main functions included development of planning and strategy on behalf of Soviet Jews, coordination of the work of all constituent members of NCSJ and assignment of particular tasks and the collection and distribution of information on Soviet Jews, refuseniks and prisoners of conscience (POC) and Soviet policies towards them. Refuseniks were Soviet Jews who applied for emigration but were refused exit visas and had to remain in the Soviet Union, usually losing their regular jobs and being able to find only unqualified menial jobs. Prisoners of conscience (POC) were Jews and non-Jews imprisoned by the Soviet authorities for their beliefs, usually under some fabricated criminal charge. Dissidents were members of the broader democracy movement in the USSR which included both Jews and non-Jews.

The precursor of NCSJ, the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry (AJCSJ) came into being as a result of the efforts of individual activists and community leaders, and its emergence may be considered as the beginning of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (ASJM). However, the Movement formally "commenced" with an event, the Conference on the Status of Soviet Jews, held October 21, 1963, prepared by Moshe Decter, editor of the New Leader magazine, and (behind the scenes) the Israeli Liaison Bureau. The Conference took place at the Carnegie Foundation and its sponsors and participants were Saul Bellow, Martin Luther King Jr., Sen. Herbert Lehman, Bishop James Pike, Walter Reuther, Norman Thomas, Robert Penn Warren. This initial assembly led to the establishment of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry with a more formal assembly a year later, on April 5-6, 1964. April 1964 also saw the birth of the militant student movement, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) following a march in New York of Columbia University students to the Soviet UN mission.

The leadership and coordination work by AJCSJ were provided on a rotating, part-time basis between member organizations, and in 1966-1970 its staff coordinating agency was the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC), which provided full-time executive and clerical personnel, housing and other direct administrative overhead and expense costs. The focus in the early years of the AJCSJ and the Soviet Jewry Movement was to obtain equal rights for Soviet Jews as an ethnic and religious minority within the Soviet Union. Eventually the focus shifted to the right for Soviet Jews to emigrate.

The situation for Soviet Jews deteriorated in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The USSR's break of diplomatic relations with Israel and increased Jewish activism, followed by a massive crackdown against Soviet Jewish activists, needed an adequate response and allocation of resources. After a set of recommendations was adopted at a joint meeting, chaired by Rabbi Herschel Schacter and Abraham Bayer, of the AJCSJ and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, combined with the proposals of Stanley H. Lowell (American Jewish Congress), Philip Bernstein (Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds), Charlotte Jacobson (World Zionist Organization), Yehuda Hellman (Presidents Conference) and Isaiah Minkoff (National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council), the National Conference on Soviet Jewry was created in June 1971. The name change from AJCSJ to NCSJ was approved by the Plenum on December 13, 1971.

NCSJ determined its objectives through a consensus of a Board of Governors, which met 3-4 times a year. The Board of Governors consisted of representatives from all member agencies, as well as twenty-five representatives and twenty-five alternates from local communities. The Board of Governors annually elected the Executive Committee and officers of NCSJ.

The plenum of the National Conference included all members of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry as well as the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and stipulated a number of representatives of welfare funds and community relations councils designated jointly by the National Jewish Community Relations advisory Council (NJCRAC) and the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds.

With the establishment of NCSJ in 1971, Jerry Goodman was appointed executive director of the NCSJ (replaced by Mark Levin in 1987) and Richard Maass was elected its chairman (subsequent chairmen were Theodore (Ted) Man and Morris Abram).

In one of its leaflets the NCSJ described itself as, "an autonomous body working to develop programs designed to be helpful in relieving the problems of Soviet Jews: to aid Soviet Jews who seek their right to leave for Israel and elsewhere; to combat rising anti-Semitism in the USSR; to help Jews live in the Soviet Union with the rights, privileges and freedoms accorded other religious and national minority groups; [and] to help protect the civil and personal rights of Jews within the USSR." At the peak of its activities the NCSJ included about fifty national organizations, among them the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Public Affairs Committee, American Zionist Federation, American Jewish Congress, B'nai B'rith and B'nai B'rith-Women, Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization; the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, and, on the local level, by hundreds of Jewish communal organizations.

The NCSJ created a network of support groups, which engaged a broad range of Americans, both Jews and non-Jews, and included doctors, lawyers and Congressional spouses. It used contacts with U.S. Presidents, members of the administration, and members of the U.S Congress and Senate to put pressure on the Soviet authorities to allow the increase of the number of Jews attempting to emigrate from the USSR and to ameliorate the condition of Soviet Jews. While presidents before Reagan were reluctant to exercise full-scale intervention on behalf of Soviet Jews for fear of jeopardizing the policy of détente, the U.S. Congress was less apprehensive and more willing to assert itself as a guardian of democracy and a moral force in the wake of United States political scandals and the Vietnam War.

From the beginning, NCSJ leaders cultivated ties with power brokers in Washington, D.C. to further their cause: influential entrepreneurs Armand Hammer and Donald Kendall, prominent lawyers Telford Taylor and Alan Dershowitz, entertainers Joanne Woodland, Jack Gilford and Jane Fonda as well as writers and intellectuals such as Elie Wisel and Alfred Kazin.

A new chapter in the NCSJ and all Soviet Jewry Movement activities was introduced when Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson and Congressman Charles Vanik joined with the NCSJ to introduce legislation that would link trade benefits (the Most Favored Nation status) and credits to the emigration policies of foreign states. The campaign in support of the Jackson-Vanik bill started in 1972 and culminated with the signing of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of the United States, passed in 1974 and enacted in January 1975. The amendment forced the Soviet authorities to yield, and the years 1975-1979 showed a steady increase in Soviet Jewish emigration from the USSR, reaching its peak in 1979 with 51,320 people. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, American-Soviet relations rapidly deteriorated, resulting in a reduction of the number of Jews allowed to emigrate from the USSR, and increasing the vigor of the "anti-Zionist" (an euphemism for anti-Jewish) campaign in the 1980s.

In 1984-1985, with a virtual halt in emigration from the Soviet Union, the NCSJ recognized the need for significant changes and admitted that the organization's most important goal, that of "maximizing the involvement of all segments of the Jewish and general communities," in the U.S. had not been achieved. It made steps to enhance its image as "the address for the Soviet Jewry advocacy efforts, guidelines, programs, materials" focusing on work with the national agency members and local federations "to create an integrated and cooperative approach." The involvement of local communities, mostly symbolic so far, was invigorated by attracting local leaders and local communities to participate in decision-making and regular information briefings. The primary purposes of the NCSJ were reformulated as follows:
  1. "To enable Jews to leave the Soviet Union in accordance with international law; to help those Jews who choose to remain in the Soviet Union live as Jews with the same rights accorded every other nationality and religious minority, and to assure that the plight of Soviet Jewry is kept in the forefront of deliberations of our Government, as well as the public and private sectors."

Extent

228.5 Linear Feet (435 manuscript boxes, 8 half manuscript boxes, 1 bankers box, 6 [6"x6"x12"] audio boxes, 2 [6"x12"x16"] audio boxes, 3 oversized folders, 1 MAP2 folder)

Abstract

This collection contains the records of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, the largest and most influential American Jewish organization created to coordinate efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry; the NCSJ containes its work today, under the name, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ).

The bulk of the collection covers the NCSJ's activities from the early 1970s, through late 1980s. It includes meetings minutes, memoranda, correspondence, newsletters and publications of the NCSJ and its precursor organizations (primarily the American Jewish Committee on Soviet Jewry, 1964-1971), and the individual files maintained on Refusenik, prisoners of conscience, and Jewish émigrés.

LEFT OFF

The collection also includes a considerable number of reports from the visits to the USSR by Soviet Jewry Movement activists and other. A significant part of the collection is represented by the audio recordings that include 13-minute programs on the WEVD Radio dedicated to Soviet Jewry topics and recordings of phone conversations with Refuseniks. There is also a considerable number of photographs, posters and publications, several film strips and VHS tapes.

Arrangement

Part One of the collection (I-181) is divided into nine series as follows:
Part Two of the collection (I-181A) is divided into sixteen series as follows:
  1. Series I: NCSJ Administrative Records, undated, 1965-1966, 1970-1993
  2. Subseries A: Staff Member Files and General Records, undated, 1965-1966, 1970-1990
  3. Subseries B: Board of Governors, 1978-1986, 1988-1989
  4. Subseries C: Executive Committee, undated, 1972-1989
  5. Subseries D: Additional Committees and Divisions, undated, 1974-1989
  6. Subseries E: National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC), undated, 1972, 1974-1993
  7. Series II: Public Relations Records, undated, 1971-1991
  8. Subseries A: Publicity Records, 1976-1991
  9. Subseries B: Press Releases, undated, 1971-1987
  10. Series III: Fundraising Records, undated, 1976-1987
  11. Series IV: Conferences, Actions, Projects and Events, undated, 1966-1991
  12. Subseries A: Projects, undated, 1972-1976, 1978-1989, 1991
  13. Subseries B: Events, undated, 1966, 1971, 1974-1989
  14. Series V: USSR Travel, Committee Files, and Reports, undated, 1970-1991
  15. Subseries A: Individual Travel Reports, undated, 1970-1971, 1973-1989
  16. Subseries B: Local U.S. Communal Organizations Representatives Travel Reports, undated, 1975-1988
  17. Subseries C: Soviet Jews and Refuseniks Information for Visitors with Updates, undated, 1971-1991
  18. Series VI: USSR Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience Individual Files, undated, 1971-1992
  19. Subseries A: Individual files on Soviet refuseniks, undated, 1971-1991
  20. Subseries B: Additional individual files on Soviet Jews, undated, 1972-1992
  21. Subseries C: Catalog cards on people that emigrated form the USSR to Israel, undated
  22. Subseries D: Contacts in the USSR by location, undated, 1973-1989, 1991
  23. Subseries E: Printout of the database on persons who were permitted to emigrate from the USSR, undated, 1988-1989
  24. Subseries F: General information on refuseniks and prisoners of conscience in the USSR, undated, 1972-1991
  25. Series VII: Soviet Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience Legal Petitions, Affidavits and Memoranda, undated, 1971-1990
  26. Subseries A: Legal petitions on individual cases by Telford Taylor, undated, 1974-1975, 1978-1979
  27. Subseries B: Information on trials and sentencing of refuseniks and POC, undated, 1971-1975
  28. Subseries C: Materials for campaigning on behalf of individual Refuseniks, undated, 1972-1990
  29. Subseries D: Lawyers' Committee Materials, undated, 1974-1990
  30. Series VIII: USSR Jewish Émigrés Individual Files, undated, 1969-1992
  31. Subseries A: Jewish Émigrés Individual file, undated, 1969-1992
  32. Subseries B: General information on Jewish émigrés, undated, 1971-1972, 1976-1989
  33. Series IX: Jewish Communal and ASJM Organizations Correspondence and Information Materials, undated, 1963-1965, 1971, 1973-1992
  34. Subseries A: ASJM-related organization in the U.S., undated, 1963-1965, 1971, 1974-1991
  35. Subseries B: UCSJ, undated, 1973-1992
  36. Subseries C: Other ASJM-related organizations, undated, 1977-1991
  37. Series X: U.S. Government, Congress and Senate, Contacts, undated, 1973-1989
  38. Subseries A: U.S. Government Structures Contacts, undated, 1973-1974, 1976-1989
  39. Subseries B: Contacts with the Senate and House or Representatives, undated, 1974-1989
  40. Subseries C: Information on the U.S. government, undated, 1979-1980, 1983-1985, 1987-1988
  41. Series XI: Summit Meetings, International Soviet Jews and Human Rights Conferences, undated, 1973-1991
  42. Subseries A: U.S.-USSR Summits, undated, 1973-1974, 1978-1979, 1985-1988
  43. Subseries B: Conferences and other events, undated, 1975-1991
  44. Series XII: Soviet Jewry and ASJM Information Materials (publications, newsletters, clippings), undated, 1952, 1961-1992
  45. Subseries A: Newsletters, undated, 1963-1992
  46. Subseries B: Publications and related materials, undated, 1952, 1961-1962, 1964-1965, 1967-1988
  47. Series XIII: Human Rights, U.S. Politics, International Politics, anti-Semitism and Holocaust, USSR Politics, General Information Materials, undated, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1958-1991
  48. Subseries A: U.S. Politics, undated, 1949, 1966, 1970-1974, 1976-1989
  49. Subseries B: Soviet Politics and Propaganda, undated, 1954, 1956, 1958-1974, 1976-1989, 1991
  50. Subseries C: Human Rights and International Politics, undated, 1958, 1963-1964, 1967-1970, 1972-1973, 1975-1990
  51. Subseries D: Soviet Propaganda Campaign Letters ("Varvariv letters"), 1979
  52. Subseries E: U.S.-USSR relations, undated, 1964, 1976-1990
  53. Series XIV: Photographs and Oversized Materials, undated, 1973, 1976, 1984, 1986-1987
  54. Series XV: Audio Materials on Soviet Jewry and ASJM, 1966, 1968, 1970-1979
  55. Series XVI: Moving Image Film Strips and Videos, undated, 1971, 1987-1988

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

The records were donated by Bernard Wax in 1980 and by Jerry Goodman in 2006. Materials in box 371 were donated by the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007. Materials in box 329, folder 5 were donated by Rabbi Norman Patz in August 2015.

Digitization Note

Part 2, Series V: USSR Travel, Committee Files, and Reports was digitized in its entirety in 2014-2015 with the exception of subseries C, which consists mostly of publications, maps, brochures, and other copyrighted materials. Duplicates within folders were not digitized. Part 2, Series XIV: Photographs and Oversized Materials was digitized in its entirety in 2014-2015. Part 2, Series XV: Audio Materials on Soviet Jewry and ASJM was digitized in the early 2000s, and cda files were migrated to wav and mp3 files in 2016. All unique recordings on VHS tapes in Part 2, Series XVI: Moving Images and Videos were digitized in full in 2016-2017. These digitized videos are openly available to view with the exception of box 370 tape 1, which is limited to onsite viewing only due to copyright concerns.

Related Material

The Papers of Laurel and Alan J. Gould 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), 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 Gerber 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), Harold and Judith S. Einhorn (P-996), Carol and Michael Bierman (P-1007) and Bayard Rustin (P-1015).

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).

Disclaimer

The trip reports found in this collection contain opinions, statements and allegations that may or may not be substantiated. American Jewish Historical Society and the Center for Jewish History do not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any findings, conclusions, recommendations, opinions or statements expressed in the trip reports.
Title
Guide to the Records of National Conference on Soviet Jewry, undated, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1958-1993   *I-181
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Vital Zajka, Andrey Filimonov, Viktoriya Zeltsman, Lea New, and Marvin Rusinek
Date
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Processing was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency, and contributions from generous individuals. Digitization of trip reports was made possible by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Digitization of audio-visual materials was made possible through the generous support of the Blavatnik Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • December 2006-January 2007: Audio database created by Viktoriya Zeltsman.
  • January 27, 2009: Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek.
  • March 2015: Folder list in Part 2, Series V was corrected by Andrey Filimonov.
  • March 2015: Corrected dao links added by Eric Fritzler.
  • April 2015: An accretion of box 371 was processed by Andrey Filimonov.
  • June 2016: Container lists for audio and video corrected by Leanora Lange.
  • July 2016: Dao links for audio boxes 363-364 added by Leanora Lange.
  • April 2017: Dao links for audio boxes 363-369 added by Nicole Greenhouse.
  • July 2017: Dao links for digitized VHS recordings added, digitization note and sponsor statement updated, and EAD filename simplified to NCSJ-I181A.xml by Leanora Lange.
  • August 2017: Abstract and historical note ammended with the current name of the organization--National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ) by Andrey Filimonov.
  • September 2017: Dao links for box 371 videos 7 and 19 updated by Leanora Lange.
  • April 2021: EH: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

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