History of the Soviet Jewry Movement Archives Project

It is a powerful and inspirational tale. The prolonged struggle to secure the rights for Jews in the Soviet Union to live as Jews and to reside where they desire. The unrelenting efforts between 1963 and 1991 by the individuals and organizations of the grassroots Soviet Jewry movement in North America, and beyond, in this struggle. The triumph that ultimately saw 1.6 million Jews leave the former Soviet Union by the turn of the 21st century.

 And yet this tale was untold and largely forgotten.

 In 2022 the Soviet Jewry Movement Archives Project (SJMAP) was founded to preserve and share these stories. SJMAP’s founders, who also compose the founding Executive Committee, are former leaders of the grassroots Soviet Jewry movement in North America and Jewish organizational veterans. 

 Designed to serve as a nexus, SJMAP brings together the archival repositories of this history so that future generations can learn and be inspired. SJMAP builds this network by working with former activists and their descendants to guide personal collections to appropriate archives and with archives to do what is necessary to make their collections part of SJMAP’s virtual hub. This wealth of history, as it is collected and showcased, will become a springboard for SJMAP educational endeavors to further embed these stories into the historical narrative. 

Partners and supporters of SJMAP’s work are welcome. Help SJMAP to share the tale of this successful human rights struggle. Individuals working together can impact history.


The Soviet Jewry Movement Archives Project was formed to preserve and share the history of the grassroots Soviet Jewry Movement in North America. SJMAP's founders are former leaders in the movement and Jewish organizational veterans.

SJMAP is a virtual hub available to everyone through our website. SJMAP itself has no physical structure, rather all of the historical records are located in archives, historical centers, and universities and are connected for your use at sovietjewryarchives.org.

The Soviet Jewry Archives Project is incorporated and is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

All monetary donations will be receipted for tax purposes.