Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, May 26, 2016
In the May 12 issue of the JN, I read Robert Sklar’s article “Freedom Sunday Rewind” with great interest. Sklar tells the story of the massive December 1987 demonstration of American Jews on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. As he points out, the event was covered by the JN that year, and reports can be found in the William Davidson Digital Archives of Jewish Detroit History.
So, I decided to do a bit of a search regarding the history behind the struggle of Jews in the Soviet Union; in particular, their efforts to migrate to Israel, the United States and other lands.
I found the first story on “U.S.S.R. Jews” in 1946, four years after the founding of the JN. Ironically, this story touts the Soviet Union’s efforts against anti-Semitism in WWII, equating such discrimination as fascist, and a bit about the entrance of a few Jews into academic life there.
By 1953, however, the World Jewish Congress called for “free communication between world and Russian Jewries and the right of U.S.S.R. Jews to Jewish cultural and communal autonomy.”
And, the struggle only increased from there until the 1990s and the mass migrations of Jews from the Soviet Union/Russia. Here’s a story from the June 8, 1973, JN regarding early demonstrations. *
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.
By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist