The victorious Six-Day War in 1967 in Israel miraculously revived Jewish identity and sparked national pride in Jews all across the Soviet Union. For many years Soviet Jewish activists persistently and courageously struggled for their freedom and for their right to return to their historical Jewish homeland in Israel. The Soviet Jewry Aliya Movement was one of the proudest moments in Jewish history in the 20th century. The Aliya started as a tiny trickle, but gradually grew into a powerful torrent which led to the immigration of over a million Jews to Israel.
The borders of the Soviet Union did not open by themselves. It happened as a result of a long and courageous struggle, many sacrifices, and through the heroic deeds of activists in the Aliya Movement. These men and women who had been denied exit visas to Israel for many years, the so-called "refuseniks", also inspired and developed an enormous interest among Jews in the Soviet Union in Jewish culture, history, religion, and contemporary life in Israel. For decades, many groups and organizations in the West supported this Movement. A significant part of this support was received from the government and people of Israel.
Many pages on the History of the Soviet Jewry Aliya Movement 1970-1990 have not been written yet. There are thousands of documents about those remarkable years of Jewish activism, which have not yet found their place in appropriate archives, and they are still unknown to historians, journalists, writers, as well as to those responsible for the education of new generations.
Time is running out.
Many activists of the Movement have died. Some of these valuable documents could disappear...
We would like to save these precious historical documents and important recollections of Soviet Jewry activists from around the world from this significant era.
To conserve the documents and historical facts, which are still available, we, the former refuseniks, prisoners of Zion and Zionist activists of the Aliya Movement from the Soviet Union, at April 22, 2002 established the Association: Archive of the Jewish Aliya Movement in the USSR (1967-1989).
During the first phase of our activity we will collect the following documents and materials:
- 1. Documents about the struggle for the right of Soviet Jews for cultural life in accordance with Jewish traditions and religion, and for Aliya to Israel (1967-1989), including :
- Lists of Movement activists and refuseniks;
- Petitions, and appeals of Jews to the Soviet officials; and appeals to Jewish and public organizations, to the media and to Western leaders and governments;
- Letters of the Movement activists, prisoners of Zion, refuseniks and letters to them from Israel and from the West;
- Official documents on the Aliya Movement
- Photo, audio and video documentation;
- Jewish Samizdat (underground publications) in the USSR.
- Published and unpublished memoirs, diaries, interviews with former Movement activists.
- Relevant documents of Israeli and Western organizations and private citizens, who supported Soviet Jews in their struggle with the Soviet authorities, reports and records of the trips to USSR.
- Books, newspapers, magazines, research papers and publications on the Aliya Movement in the Soviet Union, as well as other documents related to the Jewish Aliya Movement in the USSR.
As a next step in the development of the Association we will:
- Open our archive for those who are interested in this information and are involved in historical research;
- Publish as well as assist in the publication of these documents and memoirs;
- Organize meetings and conferences of former Aliya activists with Israeli students and Jewish organizations in the former Soviet Union;
- Open an exposition of the documentation and materials in one of the Israeli museums.
We would appreciate it if you can help us locate information about relevant publications and materials, and, assist us in our effort to save and preserve these valuable documents for future generations.
Thank you in advance!
U.S. tax deductible contributions of at least $25 may be sent (and must be made payable) to P.E.F. Israel Endowment Funds, Inc., 317 Madison Avenue, Suite 607, New York, NY 10017 with a recommendation that it be used for us.
You can find a donation form example here. Please print it out, fill and send to the a.m. address.
Executive Director Aba Taratuta (Israel)
Deputy Executive Director Edward Markov (Israel)
Historical Adviser Dr. Michael Beizer (Israel)
Projects Manager Dr. Shmuel Kesler (Israel)
Association address: 11 Haprahim str, apt. 69, Haifa, Israel, 34733,
Association bank account: Account 10-875-56851/98 Bank Leumi, Technion, Haifa, Israel