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Shaul Osadchey Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-882

Scope and Content Note

Papers of Rabbi Shaul Osadchey cover the period from the late 1960’s to the early 1990’s and reflect the activities of Houston Action for Soviet Jewry, co-founded by Rabbi Osadchey. The collection also contains print and near print materials from various American and European Soviet Jewry Movement organizations, and background information on the situation of Jews in the Soviet Union during that period. The documents include correspondence, memos, minutes, publications, news clippings, pins, stickers and a kippah.

The collection is arranged in one series.

Dates

  • undated, 1968-1978, 1980-1981, 1983-1992
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 1988
  • undated, 1968-1978, 1980-1981, 1983-1992
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 1988

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 Rabbi Shaul Osadchey 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 Movements 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.

A native of Los Angeles, Rabbi Shaul Osadchey has served the Jewish community of Houston, TX for over 30 years as Director of the Houston B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation and Rabbi of Congregation Brith Shalom, Congregation Or Hadash and Congregation Or Ami. Rabbi Shaul Osadchey began his involvement with the Soviet Jewry Movement while a student in Los Angeles Hebrew High School in San Fernando valley of Los Angeles, influenced by the founders of the Southern California Council for Soviet Jewry Si Frumkin and Zev Yaroslavsky. His first activity related to the Movement was participation in a peaceful disruption of a USA performance of the Soviet Moiseyev Ballet. A number of Soviet Jewy Movement activists, including Rabbi Osadchey, attended the event, wearing prisoners’ uniforms under their regular clothes and proceeded to reveal the prison garb during the show, before making their exit. Rabbi Osadchey continued with the activities on behalf of Soviet Jews while a student at University of California, Berkeley. In the Summer of 1971 Rabbi visited Soviet Union with Rabbi Douglas Kahn, meeting with the prominent Soviet Jewish activists in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa. Upon his return Rabbi Osadchey formed a group on campus called the Chevra for Soviet Jewry and worked in cooperation with the Radical Jewish Union and the Oakland Jewish Federation.

Over the next decade, while in rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College, and as a Hillel director at Washington University in St. Louis, Rabbi Osadchey made frequent public speeches and organized many other activities on behalf of Soviet Jewry. In the Summer of 1972 he took advantage of a special permission to visit the Soviet Jewry transit camp at Schonau Castle in Austria. During Simchat Torah in 1983 Rabbi took his second trip to the USSR with 6 congregants from his Congregation Brith Shalom in Bellaire, Houston, TX. He co-founded Houston Action for Soviet Jewry with several members of the Congregation. Rabbi Osadchey played a key role in organizing a chartered planeload of congregants to join in the March on Washington of 1987. He continued his work with resettlement and acculturation of Soviet Jews efforts in Houston.

Extent

2 Linear Feet (4 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized folder)

2 Linear Feet (4 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized folder)

Language of Materials

English

English

Russian

Abstract

Papers of Rabbi Shaul Osadchey cover the period from the late 1960’s to the early 1990’s and reflect the activities of Houston Action for Soviet Jewry, co-founded by Rabbi Osadchey. The collection also contains print and near print materials from various American and European Soviet Jewry Movement organizations, and background information on the situation of Jews in the Soviet Union during that period. The documents include correspondence, memos, minutes, publications, news clippings, pins, stickers and a kippah.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into one series, arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Rabbi Shaul Osadchey in 2009.

Related Material

The Papers of Rabbi Shaul Osadchey 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), Medical Mobilization for Soviet Jewry, 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) and Leonard S. Cahan (P-883).

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 Shaul Osadchey Papers, undated, 1968-1978, 1980-1981, 1983-1992 *P-882
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Andrey Filimonov
Date
© 2010
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

  • October 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